It only took two minutes to break the world, split it open, let the gooey center leak out into the cold black of space and watch the solid core shiver in its raw, iron nakedness.
Then, the entire thing was still.
“This was the world and all it contained,” read the memorial.
You reached into the stillness and pulled the world to you as though it were something important you’d forgotten. It was as though the old life itself was within you, and you felt the weight of all the old life beating in your own heart and pumping through your own veins.
You reached for the world again and again and again.
“The world and all that it contained, yes?” they asked in a sibilant whisper, smile wide as Orion’s belt.
You pulled the world closer.
“The world is a thing that shouldn’t have broke.”
Their eyes widened and they looked at you with terror, wondering what you would manage to sacrilege next. But you had been here before.
You felt that dusty sense of eternality. You knew they had loved the world in the time before its death, despite their present tone. They had been here, waiting for you, for this. They’d been here before, too, while you were holding the cold world close to your chest in mourning. You felt then, as now, the warmth of their celestial body wrapped over and through your own. And yet you had forgotten how suffocating that warmth could grow.
Their thousand hands touched your skin and you shivered.
“I know you do not like the world to be cold and lifeless,” they said softly through a million mouths in a million tongues. “But I’ve told you these same things many times before and do so again now.”
A billion hands closed tightly around yours, “You have always taken up within in me and then kept this constant vigil, watching over the world. And the more I watch you watch the world, the more I fail to understand love.”
You shook your head and tried to escape their constraints. They closed a trillion eyes then spoke, “No one can keep you from watching. All these years from now, when we’re here again – no one will ever keep you from watching.”
You put your hand inside one of their open mouths and said, “The world is our love, my love, and that’s all we will ever care about. The world will continue no matter what, I promise you yet again.”
And then you climb inside, taking the world with you, keeping it safe and close, like you would a helpless child.