Juliet Childers

Pop Culture Science

We only call black holes “black holes” because we assume
there’s nothing on the other side. Denied by scientists and poets alike,
coronal mass ejections spike as a girl in Nikes stretches
before yoga and some frat guy does a keg stand in his toga,

but in the vacuum of space, what good is 800 sq. ft.
a month plus utilities? A black hole doesn’t need unlimited texting
and photos for sexting. A worm hole doesn’t need a Michael Kors watch
and matching bag and shoes and glasses. What passes through

the average person’s ears every day is not what Stephen Hawking’s
voice machine monosyllabically spits out; it’s the latest Brangelina baby
or perhaps yet another parody of Carly’s “Call Me Maybe.” Black holes
don’t get married and have 2.5 kids and buy a big house in the Hamptons

or wear Sperries and polos from Lacoste. They stay stuck, embossed
on the periphery of galaxies like D and G on the inside of a purse.
It’s been said before, but no one quite got the crux of the matter: black holes,
the oversized hearts of the universe with too much time on their hands,

leave no room for idle chatter or corners to which roaches can scatter.
They keep the secrets of Wordsworth and Newton alike, so when radiation spikes,
yoga girl gets lonely or frat boy wants more than a party, a black hole
will welcome them, even if they still think what’s on the other side is oblivion.


Juliet Childers is a graduate of the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, musical theatre fanatic, and burgeoning poet/writer/dancer/singer/youtuber extraordinaire. She is teaching herself Russian, hopes to be published four more times in 2013, and have her first collection published by age 25.