12:3: “Cosmology”, by Quinn White

12:3: “Cosmology”, by Quinn White
I thought
planets big
enough for a
lifetime’s study,
bigger than Indias-
full-of-elephants balanced
on hind legs, giant redwoods
clutched by their trunks, whose
trees harbored stadiums host to
World Cups, and cheering spectators,
each of whom gulped a jumbo soda, sported
a foam finger, and hoped (the hugest feeling)
that the girl with the ginger hair would say yes, forever.
I sat on my bed. I picked at the quilt: a square of stars,
gladiolas, and hearts some said I should hang
because it was willed to me by the great
maker of fried pies. But I slept with it.
When my weight ripped stitches, I
repaired them. I said her name,
believed she heard, and even
though she was down I
looked up to speak, a
gesture which if you
didn’t know better,
looked like a
to the

Quinn White’s poems appear in or are forthcoming from Gargoyle, Sixth Finch, Weave Magazine, Bayou Magazine, and Hot Metal Bridge. Quinn is the author of My Moustache (2013, Dancing Girl Press). She says:

“Cosmology” was inspired by an evening of contemplating how massive planets such as Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter are in relation to Earth. I wanted to find a way to feel that hugeness, but it turned out that the hugest thing I could comprehend that evening was desire — the desire to connect with another person and with the past. The poem assumed its current shape as I fiddled with line breaks. I realized that the poem was taking a form that worked well with its content in that the poem builds to a crescendo of raucous desire and then peters back down to a moment of private communion with the dead. 

Photograph of redwoods in fog is provided by the US National Park Service and is in the public domain.

2 Responses to “12:3: “Cosmology”, by Quinn White”

  1. Quinn says:

    The poetic form shows up better on the non-mobile site.

  2. […] First up: Strange Horizons has a long history of publishing good speculative poetry. A few poems from this weekly online magazine make it onto the Rhysling Award ballot each year. This week gifts us with a beautiful poem by Mari Ness (whose poetry has appeared on my podcast Poetry Planet): “The Loss”. http://www.strangehorizons.com/2013/20130923/ness-p.shtml “Cosmology” by Quinn White is Ideomancer’s offering in September’s Issue 12. It is a contemplative visual poem which “builds to a crescendo of raucous desire and then peters back down to a moment of private communion with the dead.” (Quinn White) http://www.ideomancer.com/?p=2545 […]

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