audio: Supernova
audio of Catherine Chandler's poem, Supernova

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A burnished afternoon. Why dull it with
a lapse to metaphor
or scientific fact, or myth,
or say there’s more

to life than what the naked eye perceives
or what the ear can hear?
Why paraphrase the shhhhing leaves,
the swoosh of deer?

Why try to parse the chirrup of the birds
or posit love’s a stew
of enzymes? Why resort to words
when hush will do?

As afternoon declines to dusk I stand
uncertain and perplexed,
your ashes in my trembling hand.
I ask, What next?

Then grant the constancy of truths and laws,
of motive, meaning, mind;
of logic, reason, purpose, cause;
because I find

it’s easier to release you, as I must,
less harrowing by far,
knowing that all human dust
was once a star.