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Dark Matter

“I love you the most,” you said.

“I love you more,” he said.

You told him you loved him farther than light travels. You loved him further than science and humanity will ever grasp the ontology of the universe. You loved him in an intricate way like dark matter holding together the universe. And that was a clever mom and physicist thing to say and it shut him up, and made him smile, and close his eyes and go to sleep.

And he grew and grew and you remember when he was small and sometimes you see him as he leaves the house, with a face urgent and serious and you think how could he have gotten from there to here so quickly.

Then one day there is a vigil outside of your home. You hear that elbows were pressed against your son’s neck. He couldn’t breathe. In his last moments he called for you. Not one of his friends. Not a girl he was seeing. He called for mom.

And the community leaders urge you to call for peace — the protests are getting out of hand. “The brother of George Floyd and mother of Breonna Taylor called for demonstrators to abstain from violence,” a clergy man says to you. But that’s not how the universe works.

There is so much dark matter that its gravitational force is enough to hold galaxies. Waking on Kangchenjunga might come with uncertainties as the sun rises, casting light on darkness, the sky remaining unsure. Half lit and half dark. But dark matter does not absorb, reflect, or emit light. It is there but in the crevices of reality, a cosmic spider web holding things in place. What happens in space when threads are broken? What happens to time when the Moirai cut a thread too soon?

There is a bleating blackness of Robespierre and French Terror and John Adams and tar and feathers and Lenin and Stalin and Gulag but there is likewise no peace when that thread is broken. The oppression that made those men feel the world needed to be turned on its head you felt in the broken mirror you see in every fiber of that thread you will be picking up for the rest of your life.

And so you told the clergy man to shut up. And you bought a gun. And gathered beside you mothers and fathers whose sons and daughters were slaughtered and you taught the police a lesson in time and space.


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