Grace Curtis

Olber’s Paradox

It’s an important observation–the night sky
is black. If space is infinite,
then every point in the sky must point
to a star. The universe, not infinitely big,
not infinitely old, must end
at the edge of the yard, proof
that a river stops at its bend, that black
does not evade but absorbs,
that gray is immersion leaning toward
the reflection of everything, that a heart
yearns for what it thinks
it leans toward. Someone
once said to me, Gracie, all your answers
are inside of you, 
ignorance leaning
toward knowledge. What is left depends upon
what reflects, what photons are taken in, what
photons are reflected back. If you combine
red, green, and blue crayons
you have black leaning toward night,
each color sharing equally in the argument
against forever.

From The Shape of a Box, (Dos Madres Press, 2014)


Grace Curtis’ book, The Shape of a Box,  was published this year by Dos Madres Press. Her chapbook, The Surly Bonds of Earth, was selected by Stephen Dunn as the 2010 winner of the Lettre Sauvage chapbook contest. She has had prose and poetry in such journals as The Chaffin Journal, Red River Review, The Baltimore Review, Waccamaw Literary Journal, and Scythe. She blogs about poetry at Her website is