What she thought was huge––a 64-ounce Big Gulp,
boxcars creaking from one end of town to the other,
Jupiter’s red spot, the silvery, sweeping pinwheel galaxy––
are tinier than the tiniest bone in a pygmy shrew.
Big, it turns out, is 300,000 light years-wide,
a dark corona surrounding the Milky Way,
which it wears like a halo of an angel
in mourning, a cloud-like penumbra, a gypsy’s
funeral kerchief ten times the size of every visible star,
every trace of dust, gasp of gas, each planetary speck.
Try that on for size. Try on the black babushka
beyond which everything else is shroud-less mycoplasma.
This is the size of her thoughts as she walks down row after row
at the Tomb of the Unknowns, lowers her uncloaked head.