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The Universe Is a House Party

This week, we feature a poem by Tracy K. Smith. Originally published in Issue 39, we thought it appropriate as we get set to host our own gathering this evening. Enjoy!

The Universe Is a House Party

The universe is expanding. Look: postcards
And panties, bottles with lipstick on the rim,

Orphan socks and napkins dried into knots.
Quickly, wordlessly, all of it whisked into file

With radio waves from a generation ago,
Drifting to the edge of what doesn’t end,

Like the air inside a balloon. Is it bright?
Will our eyes crimp shut? Is it molten, atomic,

A conflagration of suns? It sounds like the kind of party
Your neighbors forget to invite you to: bass throbbing

Through walls, and everyone thudding around drunk
On the roof. We grind lenses to an impossible strength,

Point them toward the future, and dream of beings
We’ll welcome with indefatigable hospitality:

How marvelous you’ve come! We won’t flinch
At the pinprick mouths, the nubbin limbs. We’ll rise,

Gracile, robust. Mi casa es su casa. Never more sincere.
Seeing us, they’ll know exactly what we mean.

Of course, it’s ours. If it’s anyone’s, it’s ours.

Tracy K. Smith is the author of Life on Mars , as well as of two collections of poems: Duende and The Body’s QuestionShe is a member of the Creative Writing Faculty at Princeton University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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(3) Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. [...] Tracy K. Smith – Life On Mars: Because we all need to think about missing our fathers and we all need to listen to some David Bowie and I need to believe that “The Universe is a House Party.” [...]

  2. Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give luster, and many more people see than weigh….

    Choose an author as you chose a friend….

  3. [...] From issue 39, “What if You’d Gone Anyway?” You can read Tracy’s “The Universe Is a House Party” here. [...]

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