The space between us


ESA/Hubble & NASA, V. AntoniouAc

A beautiful, blue galaxy seen from NASA’s Hubble. Photo via Google under the Creative Commons license.

I don’t know what I did to deserve you. 

Lying on this scratchy picnic blanket that you had thrifted on our first date. 

We were strolling through downtown, my hand enveloped by yours, electricity coursing through my veins at the feel of skin on skin, and I was trying not to have a cardiac arrest because I knew I could never look at you, talk to you, be allowed to share the same space, the same air, the same life with someone that witnessed my mortifying downfall.

Then, you spotted the unassuming thrift store.

And I swear you physically harnessed the power of the sun in that instant. 

You were grinning from ear to ear, sunbeams sparkling in your eyes, and in that moment, I wanted to stop us in the middle of that street and drink the sunlight in your skin. Your eyes turned toward mine and I instinctively looked away. Because your gaze is way too bright for a mere mortal like me; a gaze like yours can burn, lay waste to whole cities, ravage whole civilizations, destroy the whole human race with a glance. Your fingertips lightly grazed my chin, lifting my head to meet the twin flames in your eyes, and I thought to myself this is it, this is how I die, your gaze is going to burn me alive. 

But it didn’t. 

Your lips turned up into the slightest of smirks, and you pulled me through the double doors into the store.

And I didn’t burn.

I didn’t burn.

Now, the midnight sky stretches out before us and I’m convinced we’re going to be swallowed up by the darkness at any second. The chilly night air sends shivers down my spine, and I burrow further into my wool coat that you gifted me last Christmas. The moon and stars are in full bedazzlement tonight — as if they’re showing off a little extra glow because they knew we would be out here to witness their glorious beauty and magnificence. I turn my head toward you to point this out, but the words lodge in my throat when I see you. 

Because you’re already looking at me, the night’s breeze blowing the embers in your eyes to the dry brush in mine, sparking a blazing, roaring, forest fire. 

There’s no emotion on your face, no indication as to how you’re feeling or what’s going on in that beautiful mind of yours. No, you’re just staring at me. And I can’t help but stare back. For who can refuse your challenge of a staring contest? 

Oh God, if I could tell the stars about your radiance, they’d forget the moon’s light in an instant.

And it’s in gazing into your eyes, eyes that hold the promises of stolen kisses by the moonlight; slow dancing in the pouring rain; flushed, stuttered out proposals; tears when new life comes into this world, new life we will help bring into this world; growing old and gray but never even noticing; that I see your eyes hold the promises of life, my darling. A life I don’t want to live without you in it.

So I will spend the rest of my life thanking the Heavens and Earth and everything in between for whatever I did to have you in my life.

Because I don’t know what I did to deserve you.

I don’t know why I can’t stop staring at you.

I had just wanted to tell you a story I had remembered about Artemis falling in love with Orion because I had spotted what looked like his constellation, and I know how much you love their story of forbidden love. 

But when I see you staring out into the night sky with awe and wonder shining in your eyes and turning your lips into the softest of smiles, I’m left star struck.

 Because you’re just so…beautiful.

I mean, you’re beautiful all the time, don’t get me wrong, and I’m not talking about outside beauty, no, I’m talking about that inner glow and shine you have that never fails to amaze me. 

But tonight, it’s like I’m seeing that beauty in a whole new light. It’s quiet, innocent, and pure, not out on full display for the whole world to see, it’s just…there. For you and the moon and the stars to see. 

And me, although that probably wasn’t your intention. 

Now, I’m not usually one to get all sentimental and poetic because that’s just not who I am. You were always better with that stuff. 

But I will say this. 

When you catch me staring at you and you choose to stare back, the laugh lines around your eyes crinkle; your eyes full of awe and wonder now looking into mine, your expression never changing; I almost forget to breathe. Because I never knew someone could look at me the way you’re looking at me now. Like I’m the sun, the moon, the stars, and Earth all combined. Like you’re gazing into the depths of the universe. 

Like I am the whole universe.

So I don’t know why I can’t stop staring at you.

But I think I have a hunch.

Didn’t we learn in school that there are traces of stardust from around a billion years ago running through our veins?

Well, if that’s true, then I think maybe the traces of stardust running through my veins recognizes the stardust running through your veins. 

Maybe it recognizes a piece of itself that was lost and is now home again.



Your arms are deep within the bush of roses.

Cuts and bruises do not cause you to cower.

Bleeding may you be, yet still chose this,

For an achingly temporary flower!

Though the title ‘most perfect’ suits lovers not,

You see only epitomes of perfection.

Certain reason for your love can’t be sought,

Yet you look in no other direction.

Is this experience not so profound?

A brief moment found unordinary.

That you have chosen to intensify the sound

Of a harmony so momentary.

         All rose and all song shall end, inevitably

         But still you water the rose, and make sweet the melody.

I’ve searched to satisfy the hole in my heart

and I come to the dire realization:

I am not alone

I love through the fingertips of humanity!


yes, humanity is my lover. 

humanity has searched me and explored me and investigated me to oblivion.

humanity knows me.

humanity has carved cities and dived in my oceans and named my elements.

humanity, my love, 

I hear your whispers, your kind admittances to the night sky

when you think that no one is listening.

humanity, my love,

I feel every tear that falls upon my ground,

I feel every polluted fragment on my surface,

I feel every war you wage on my skin.

I feel myself deteriorating under my influence.


but it’s okay. I forgive you.

I need you as much as you need me.




gleaming bright white reflections,

shine and shimmer upon the rings on your fingers.


my moonlight graces your skin, 

cool, cold, ashen.


children, you’re so deserving. 

this is what you deserve. 

may lips graze one another in an eternal dance,

may you be loved forever.


it would be cruel to dream, to hope for my own in the midst of yours

but dear lovers, 

i want to be loved. 


loving lovers love love and love for the love they have for their lovers. 


i would adore to say i’m annoyed

but i can’t help but crave it, to yearn. 


is this my desolate destiny? 

this accursed loneliness?


don’t i deserve to be happy too?


children, children, 

born of the stars,

born from divinity, from love itself.


don’t you feel it?

like a match destined to burn to ashes, 

striking against canister,

you are so desperate for love in the time you are alive.


i am


i am 


i am 



my eyes have seen many true, true lovers. 

am i an audience? 

your witness? 

what purpose do i have aside from that?

is that my definition of a moon? 

your muse, your inspiration, your confidante? 

never a soulmate, a love?

you don’t care,

and why should you?


i’m sorry.


i’m sorry.


i shouldn’t be this way. 

i’m happy for you, truly.


yet, is it too much to ask for: a moon of my own? 

is it?



for 4.53 billion years, you have blessed me, gem of the night.

I am surrounded by other celestial dancers in their annual orbits,

but your radiance alone will never fail to leave me weak. 

you, over radiant Venus, ringed Saturn, lively Earth.

you, over every other celestial body hanging in infinite space.

only you.


look at these lover-wannabes, my twilight goddess.

they only see you in phases, 

they only see each other in pieces,

but I see you entirely.

I’ve studied you down to every crater and crevice,

down to every shadow and sand-grain, I know you.

it is agony to wither in space alone, 

with you just out of my grasp;

watching your cold, jealous glances 

at Earth’s mortal lovers.


94 million miles of empty distance separate us;

the thick distance limits your voice to silence,

and humbles my scorch to sunlight.

I could only dream of your affection.

we are worlds apart.

and you will never feel the same.

yet I would gladly dim my glow,

immediately extinguish my fire,

even give up my fundamental role in this galaxy,

just to be your moon

for a single night.



eyes as transponders, open wide

glinting like sapphires and rubies,

constellations our homes and our pride

burning like coal, fire amongst fire


we are your soul, do you not realize?


sweetest lovers, cradles of each heart

be successful in this bond—genuine destiny.

you have loved and are loved and that is true faith. 


we are your receivers, mentors, guidance from afar.

it will not be easy to stay back;


we must, 

for your love has marked our completion.


it is strange,

gentle lovers,

love always was the pact, the crux of civilization,

who are we to say that we deserve more time with you?


we, God’s eyes,

look gracefully upon you,

and are sated. our mission is

complete. may we see you

again. in this life after and




the stars