In the beginning was the heavy quark, and then there was you—bones, ligaments, eyes. Years later, I spied your maneuvers from my telescope. Like all those atoms hiding in galaxy clouds and floating out of sight, you gathered every piece of yourself and disappeared, but I kept up the search.

Like the dedicated astronomer I chart each place—the high school, the motel, Washington Street, that historical church where we made love in the back pew—whenever I had kissed you needed to be observed. The scientists report that atoms hide in dark matter so I brush my black strands, comb my pubic hair, and slit the side of these black tights and knee-high boots alone in my bedroom. In the corner of my field of vision, I catch a glimpse of a shadow slipping into the closet. If I pursue with this hunger, I know you’ll dodge my mouth, my hands. Instead, I crawl to the door frame and finally my vigilance pays off. You’ve been tucked behind my dresses and shirts—all black—and you wear the bruises—black and blue—of a man on the run, an atom caught in ionized gas—always present, invisible to the naked eye.

 

CAT DIXON is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014). She teaches creative writing at the University of Nebraska. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Sugar House Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, The Black Napkin, Coe Review, Eclectica, The Lake and Mid-American Review.