Adagio

by Pierce Nahigyan

Compared to the stars, humans are hardly breaths in the Universe. Imagine humming birds, dying in two short years, their humming bodies burning sugar to power their humming hearts. Imagine butterflies living days and leaving only fragile wings and powder behind. Imagine the heavy particles smashed to life in the heart of the Hadron Collider and gone, in less than seconds.

Imagine a star, ten billion years old, on the edge of its deadline. Imagine a smaller star, a dwarf, with some warranty left to go. Imagine a blue giant, a mere billion years and burning blue and sure to blow a big blue nova clear out the end of its solar system.

Imagine that solar system, bereft of its sol. Just a system, cold planets, asteroids gently leaving, carbon set loose in the Universe.

Imagine the heavy elements formed in the hearts of the hydrogen smashers, the complicated chemicals speeding at a fraction of light’s limit, colliding with planets. Barren rocks seasoned with space’s castaways, abiogenetic flowers transmuted by the humming soil to feed humming birds. Imagine pollen blowing clear out the end of its meadow, the butterflies it blows away. Imagine the butterfly alighting on your hand and the smell of the summer day, a winged dwarf with some warranty left to go, soon taken by the breeze.

The Universe is an adagio, but we are still the beats.

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