Tryst on a Torus

Al stood on the tile deck and looked around
watching the pool curve upward in the light
of swans and scorpions and loop around
the central hub, as Amy got a round
of loud applause. Al thought about how long
he’d journeyed since he listened to such round
and vibrant tones. While orbiting around
the central hub and gliding through deep space
(whose vacuum kindly stayed outside the space
of his hurtling home’s Utopian surrounds),
he tried to calculate how many times
this ship had twirled through rivulets of time

since he had seen such winsomeness. The time
to introduce himself was now! Around
the girl diverse musicians played in time
to planets, moons, and suns. Perhaps a time
would come when Al and Amy would delight
in zero G diversions, spend some time
inside a space van speeding right in time
with the starship’s slow rotations, fly headlong,
transported to the depths of what was long
forgotten after such an immense time
of traveling through vastnesses of space.
The eons since the start of aerospace,

so many had already claimed that space
which rocks and tangos cheek to cheek with time,
innumerable colonies in space
sailing to the ends of outer space,
aiming to go beyond the merry-go-round
of even their own galaxy, a space
too huge to comprehend. Now, in a space
that no one saw but Al, an inner light
switched on, then quicker than a cat (a light
and lissome creature lost in time and space),
he bounded through faint gravity with long
and eager strides; perhaps they were as long

as the fabled cheetah’s. Well, we won’t prolong
the tale. Al sped to Amy. In the space
of just a night they reckoned they belonged
to one another. All throughout their long,
long voyage, the lovers often spent their time
hang-gliding side-by-side the whole day long
like courting and cavorting gulls along
the inner border of the torus. Round
and round they dipped and soared, ran rings around
the other gliders, seldom lingering long
on thoughts of Earth. Like luna moths in light,
they frolicked as they traveled toward a light

that someday would be home. In candlelight
they dined on vegetation from the long
and sweeping gardens soaking up the light
of nearby stars. They were neutrino-light
until, inside their tweaked cerebral space,
before their starship ever would alight
atop another world, the pilot light
that kept them functioning far past the time
the ancients could have dreamed stopped keeping time
as Al and Amy climaxed with the light
of ninety supernovae. All around,
the stellar mustangs galloped round and round.

The doctors failed to bring the pair around.
(Even posthumans fall to Father Time.)
Their kin, though, peopled every curve of space
and, once they found the means to get along
with natives, grew as limitless as light.