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An astronomical extrapolation of ayy: A prose poem

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MARTHA TIBBALLS | STAFF

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OCTOBER 22, 2022

Y
ou asked me to go stargazing, quite casually — you’ve gotten into it of late. That swept me off my feet, my head defied gravity. That sounded like a stellar date.

Jupiter was closer than ever that day. You replied, “Prob can’t see it frreal frreal in the Bay Area, ayy?” 

That almost brought me back to Earth, nearly gave me the ick. But I had already spaced out. I can’t avert my thoughts, they’ve always been intergalactic. 

So I gazed off into the sky, wondering why you chose the word ayy. And if this was what you really meant to say: 

 

“Bayyby. 

We’ll look for Polaris, kiss, and sway in the grass. We’ll hope on a comet, I’ll tell you about my wish, and you’ll get embarrassed, red as Mars. 

I’ll bump into you like an asteroid, fill your void, the craters of your scars. I’ll give you a cosmic romance, swirling, like Jupiter’s gas: That terrain’s expanse can’t measure up to ours.

We’ll hope on a comet, I’ll tell you about my wish, and you’ll get embarrassed, red as Mars. 

 

We’re fayyte.

I’ll ask your mom for advice. Pluck off one of Saturn’s rings, get it adjusted to your finger size. It outshines every one of your friends’ — carat-wise. They catch glimmers, whisper with dilated black hole eyes. 

Eventually, we expand our universe: our first and we’re both so nervous. Your belly rounder than Uranus, we settle on ultraviolet crib colors. That winter, the 21st of December, we hear the nurse. “A daughter,” she says — she’s luminous. 

 

Our own constellayytion. 

From the Big Dipper to their Big Diapers, we orbit around three children. It takes infinite patience and NASA themed celebrations. They make Playdough planets in our living room, and go extraterrestrial for education too soon, further than Neptune, only visiting in June.

Then, like Pluto, we become dwarves, taking canned oxygen for our coughs. We’re in our twilight years, almost degenerate matter. We reminisce about when we were kids, timeless and with stronger bladders.

We reminisce about when we were kids, timeless and with stronger bladders.

 

We’ll be okayy. 

Beyond the solar system, there’s more of the galaxy to come: we’ll explore the rest of the Milky Wayy.” 

 

But when we went, you weren’t compliant, wanted to look at Orion. Your true intentions shone, but really, I’d already known before I picked up my telescope. 

So here’s what you meant to convey when you sent that ayy: 

 

“Let’s playy

Burn hot as Venus, heavenly bodies with no space between us. You can sprinkle stardust, and I’ll bust a meteor shower. It’s a supernova, lust that lasts an hour. 

I just wanted fun, your Mercury must be in retrograde. To rush towards the sun and be done, naturally fade. 

We’re a predetermined blaze, it’s in our celestial coordinates. If you’re still in your daze, allow me to rephrase: 

This was all the zenith of your imagination, our spaceships are headed in opposite directions. 

Bayyby, we’re lightyears awayy.” 

Contact Mahika Singhal at 

LAST UPDATED

OCTOBER 22, 2022