The Heat Death of the Universe

The Heat Death of the Universe

It’s my favorite certainty.

Long after I’ve paid my last cent
rendering unto Caesar
that cent—
            burned to a copper cinder
            Lincoln’s face melted to magma
            all meaning stripped
            its tiny bit of spending power forgotten
will darken before a reduced white sun.
Its light too will die,
and it will come apart.

Long after my body and the place it winds up—
prairie given to mountain,
mountain crumbling to sea,
sea boiled away as Earth, too,
releases the ghost
—like we all release the ghost—
bones to dust, dust to sediment,
sediment to sandstone,
sandstone to river bank,
river bank to canyon,
canyon cut over eons,
filled again
cut again
dried out, baked away, bathed in photons
swallowed by the sun
then left to freeze.

We all will come apart.
Piece by infinitesimal piece
everything that makes us everything
bits of matter reaching across nothing
to join bonds with itself:
Its grip will relax
and in infrared rays
shine away, burn into nothing
and nothing it will stay.

Nothing.

It's my favorite certainty.