A Eulogy for the Orb We Call Home

Ananya Jain
Aug 16, 2019 · 3 min read
Illustration by Matthew Laznicka

we live on a speck
on a blob on a smudge on a blemish on a fleck
amidst billions of jigsaw pieces that form a universe
too divine for my mortal intellect

i am told it was a couple billion years
before galaxies started collapsing into themselves each night
before the supernovas scattered the elements across the cosmos
like dandelion seeds
until the inky black was painted with light

i am told it was the inescapable lure of gravity
that led to her birth
she has always commanded attention
demanded space
somewhere along the way
she came to be known as earth

i am told dying stars forged the elements she is made up of
and intertwined their wreckage with hers for one last hurrah
so that she may burn as brilliantly as they once did

i am told the cosmos is a violent place
but some hundred and fifty billion of us
have since occupied this hostile space

i am told she is a shattered fragment of the universe
she holds in her eyes
that the galaxies are painted on her eyelids
and the bitterness of black holes
lingers on her lips
as the gentle hum of nebulae
thrums beneath her moonlit skin
every beat of her heart
in tune with the song of the cosmos

and if only for a little while
it was enough

but they say the universe is getting larger and larger
the space she is permitted to occupy
becoming smaller and smaller
they say she is slowing down
every few years an extra second is added to the days
to make up for the lost time
she once wore as a crown

i have seen her shrinking lately
perhaps she too is making space for the corpulent men
in the high rise buildings
whose beloved economies she has spent centuries
carrying on her back

i have seen her angry lately
spitting heat waves
reminiscent of a time she was slave to no one

i have seen her waning lately
while the seas rise as majestically
as the civilisations once did
surrounded by cries of
not enough
never enough

i can see her ribs when she exhales
the remains of progress littered
until they find a way down her throat
stifling the voice
that would put the skies to sleep
but she is as capable of humming a lullaby
as she is of roaring a battlecry

because truthfully
it was never enough

our legacy is written in ruin savagery and avarice
in ruling the skies and selling our celestial souls for the glamorous
in pretending we didn’t come from the same wreckage that built her
in being mortal gods who cried over who got more dessert for dinner

we lived on a speck
on a blob on a smudge on a blemish on a fleck
amidst billions of jigsaw pieces that formed a universe
too divine for our mortal intellect

she is one with the cosmos now
spread across the skies like dandelion seeds
intertwining her wreckage with another’s
for one last hurrah
so that it may burn as brilliantly as she once did

and passing extraterrestrials haven’t the slightest inkling
that foolish, foolish homo sapiens ever lived

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