The One About Stars

i am at the bar i work at,
or else on the bus on the way home.
the city of austin is comfortable and easy.

sometimes you forget you are in a major city
until you look at the sky, and you can not see the stars.

“when the universe was very young, it was so hot
[that] electrons and protons jumped around,
and photons of light scattered constantly.

they couldn’t travel very far before scattering again,
so the universe was opaque.

but then, around 380,000 years after the big bang,
the universe cooled just enough for electrons
and protons to form hydrogen.

suddenly, abruptly,
photons decoupled from this obstacle course
and could travel relatively unencumbered.

the universe became transparent to light”
but you can not see the stars here.

we have reversed this process
in every way that is meaningful to us.
in places where we live, the stars are blotted out
by our heat and youth.