The Center of the Universe

by Paul Hooker

September 2015

This morning before I left for work,
you asked the thing you ask me every day:
do you have your wallet, phone, keys,
and my assent was your permission
to melt into our embrace
your arms around my neck and mine
encircling your slender frame
just the way we always do.

And I felt the universe within my grasp,
galaxies careening toward the edge of space
stars becoming novae in the nothingness
comets tracing with their oblong orbits
pathways through a dark eternity,
planets birthing life within their cores
seas heaving up from ancient deeps
sunlight peeking from behind fleeing clouds
as the morning’s rain steams from street to sky
and the dog settles on the couch again
for yet another morning nap.

And in the silence between waves of light
breaking on the shadowed shores
of this day, this morning, this moment,
you kissed my lips, warm, and said
have a good day sweetheart,
I love you, drive safely,
and what time will you be home,
just the way you always do.