For my friend Wolfgang, the astronomer

In his last months,
your father seemed to drift away,
the mysteries of brain shutting down,
neuron by neuron,
misfires of synapses,
the self fading out.
Even the scientist loses his father
in the same way as the rest of us,
calling up that emptiness
black and cold as the universe.
The same thoughts arise
as we ponder the singularity,
the hard questions tumbling over in the heart.
For we know even galaxies end,
spinning off into black holes,
spewing their demise,
stars turning off, one by one,
matter into energy into matter.
I see you peering up
at a new night sky,
Pacific waves lapping
the certainty of doom,
the ambiguity of time.

*Singularity: a moment when space or space-time suffers a
devastating rupture or a anomaly in space-time.