A Brief History of Time


A Brief History of Time

A Poem


The beginning spilled light. And helium. And time.

Across the newborn plane These raced to fill the void And this process we know Is natural.

The glass says so, When spilled sideways and Unless the vintage is good You’ll never hear me complain.

Also no one denies that Given enough time (And inconsiderate housemates), Wine dries all red and brittle and stains.

Time’s next step – the one that persists In the absence of a mop-armed god Is a wine stain on the floor of the universe: An era where matter’s shadow is long and dark.

And you live unhappily with the knowledge Of the penumbrous age.

You ask me – how Remembrance occurs without Thought – how Light may persist (for beauty’s sake!)

But no finite soul departs with guilt – Thus is time’s gift.

For the wonder of a rose is in a petal, Not in its fertility – We wonder at the first And only grow the second that We may wonder again.

Your forehead – The one I kiss in the present age The light-bearing age The happenstance one where

We met, And the rose grew, And wine spilled According to Newton’s Laws –

It should find peace in the knowledge That in her short life The woman who wears her Lives rarer than the stars she worships And the singularities that though outnumber us Are mortal too And are remorseless when They succumb to time.


Jose Espinel ‘20 (espinel@college.harvard.edu) writes poetry for the Indy.