“Her Smile Was Silver Jupiter,” by Eric Robert Nolan

It was a mad and spinning world in which you met her, but she was a mad and spinning girl — so brightly and resolutely burning that she herself was celestial.  There was starshine bottled up in her heart, solar winds charged the particles of her thoughts, ions in the atmosphere ignited her impulses.  Her willful joy was her own burning sun.

When she was sly, her eyes were hasty comets.  Her passion amassed from Saturnal storms.  Her smile was silver Jupiter– you wanted to repose over its white sands, beside the stained and rose-metal lakes of smoldering, darkening copper.

Between the spaces of her words, chasms of cosmos would occasionally open.  You could stare into those depths for indifferent and measureless distances of light years — the sublime nightmare-nothingness that Providence had made, the Forever-of-Empty-Dark.  But before you could be afraid, her own gravity drew you in.

And you were glad.  That such loveliness could exist in a single soul was reassurance.  (The Forever-of-Empty-Dark wasn’t entirely empty, after all.)  And you were grateful — grateful for her rejoinders, for the taste of her mouth on your own, for her girlish laugh, for the way that she regularly lighted a murky Earth with the moonbeams of her quiet kindnesses.

She was unstoppable.  Ultraviolet rode the coronal shades of her irises, and flared in her contemplation.  She blazed.  Magnetic radiation murmured in her poetry.  You loved her for her uniqueness in a universe of cold space, for the way that she burned and turned and burned and turned without ever slowing or expiring.  When her light fell across you, you could almost believe that you, too, were spinning and illuminated.  You loved her enough for the illusion alone.

You loved her more for her gravity that drew you in and held you, and for her arms that did the same.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2022

This image of Jupiter and Europa, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope on 25 August 2020, was captured when the planet was 653 million kilometres from Earth. The full view of this Hubble image can be viewed here.

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