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Sagittarius A*
Rohan Buettel
There is a hole in the heart of my galaxy;
supermassive and black; no light emits
in any event from below the horizon.
It sits in the snowy wastes of the Milky Way,
dense with star clusters and interstellar nebulae.
The absence keeps growing —
no matter how much falls in, it never fills;
the gravity of the situation so attractive
that a bright ring of glowing gas revolves
at close to the speed of light;
a giant finger-spinner completing
each revolution in minutes;
a flux of constant change. In a photo
it’s a dark shadow on a black plate,
at the centre of an orange donut
sitting in a smear of raspberry jam,
with three bright patches of icing,
yellow and white, on top.
I’ve seen a photon or two in my days,
but the centre is a black night,
mass scaled to the size of four million suns,
dense enough to bend light
travelling in straight lines.
They found it in Sagittarius,
a centaur pulling back the bow,
ready, but never able, to release time’s arrow
at the red heart of the scorpion.
At the northern winter solstice, the sun
occludes the centre, the precession
of the equinox continues on.
Rohan Buettel lives in Canberra, Australia. His haiku appear in various Australian and international journals (including Presence, Cattails and The Heron’s Nest). His longer poetry appears in more than forty journals, including The Goodlife Review, Rappahannock Review, Penumbra Literary and Art Journal, Passengers Journal, Reed Magazine, Meniscus and Quadrant.