On The Origins Of Things

by Troy Jollimore

Everyone knows that the moon started out
as a renegade fragment of the sun, a solar
flare that fled that hellish furnace
and congealed into a flat frozen pond suspended
between the planets. But did you know
that anger began as music, played
too often and too loudly by drunken performers
at weddings and garden parties? Or that turtles
evolved from knuckles, ice from tears, and darkness
from misunderstanding? As for the dominant
thesis regarding the origin of love, I
abstain from comment, nor will I allow
myself to address the idea that dance
began as a kiss, that happiness was
an accidental import from Spain, that the ancient
game of jump-the-fire gave rise
to politics. But I will confess
that I began as an astronomer—a liking
for bright flashes, vast distances, unreachable things,
a hand stretched always toward the furthest limit—
and that my longing for you has not taken me
very far from that original desire
to inscribe a comet’s orbit around the walls
of our city, to gently stroke the surface of the stars.

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2 thoughts on “On The Origins Of Things

  1. This is an absolutely magnificent magnificently written poem. The early thoughts in the poem keep hitting us with their originality. anger began as music, played/too often and too loudly by drunken performers/at weddings and garden parties. Then the bigger frame of the poem comes into being, seeing love as celestial as well as personal as you desire to inscribe a comet’s orbit around the walls/of our city, to gently stroke the surface of the stars. Wow!

  2. I love how it plays between logic and silliness, science and love. And the visualizations:
    “a liking
    for bright flashes, vast distances, unreachable things,
    a hand stretched always toward the furthest limit”

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