The Sun Will Burn Brightest Just Before Its Collapse

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

Science tells us collapse
is inevitable—stars

destined to burn themselves
out with their own

luminosity, too pure
to sustain a body

through all that empty
but space was supposed

to be temporary, without
the gravity of consequence

like when you left me
for another planetary

body, life on Mars red
and warm, and I preferred

the moon, the way no one
could hear me scream

and the atmosphere
smelled of gunpowder

but you returned, said
I was a constellation

always calling you home
and how we orbited

each other, convinced
discovery was a way to love

despite the loneliness
of space, the science

fiction where life exists
on other planets if only

we abandon what we have
in order to search the expanse

like the void between
our bodies in bed, the silent

gulf over breakfast
we fill with I love you

because it is easy to covet
what is doomed, what will

inevitably combust, absorb
the Earth’s many hurts.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery is the author of Halfway from Home (Split/Lip Press), Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir (The Ohio State University Press), and three poetry chapbooks. She is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University. You can follow her on Twitter at @SF_Montgomery


Photography by: Xavier Coiffic