That remains a mystery to me:

the nature of dark matter—MACHOs or Massive Compact Halo Objects, WIMPs orWeakly Interacting Massive Particles and neutrinos, those billion to one particles
for every proton and electron in the universe,

the nature of dark energy—cosmological constant, scalar fields energizing the accelerating
expansion of the universe

the reality of hyperspace in ten dimensions making possible time travel on the warping and rippling of space

the promise of superstrings which will unite stars and galaxies with the molecules of my own DNA

makes me hungry

for the big and small of it,
for the fast and slow of it
for the hot and cold of it;
for the ins and outs

of the whys and wherefores.

Jean Toyama

we ponder.
Pull them out,
as from a magician's hat.

Small at first,
the questions–
like the easy trick
of making a quarter appear
from the petal of a child's ear
that makes him smile and run
to his mother and say, "Look what I've got!"

Of spouting a life line of blood-red scarves
from hands that we can swear were empty
the last time we looked,
the answers more cloudy.

How are we going to pull this off,
produce a dove from a sleeve
a hand or head,
another then another–a small flock?
An illusionist will tell you
that handling what is real
takes more care.

But in the end, it's the disappearing
acts that hold our attention.
The mystery of it all.
We want to know why
we can't see the wind
or where meteor showers
come from, where they go,
giving us the perfect
opportunity to ask–
why we're here, then not.

We return to the pond
where a koi slaps the water
and a turtle dives in.
As water falls into the pond,
I hear you breathe.

A dragonfly passes
and a sparrow hops
through the weeds.
As we sit in the shade,
I hear you breathe.

You will leave soon
and summer is ending.
As I hold you tight,
I hear you breathe.

The sky dims
and the wind is cool.
As we walk to the car,
I hold my breath
wishing it was morning.

—Ann Inoshita

(on viewing Choris' portrait of Kamehameha I )

It was morning when I first saw you
on a slim side wall where
someone might absentmindedly flip
a light switch. Not the center of the gallery
with guards flanking you, cordoned off
by velvet ropes. Instead

you are housed in a small common frame
constricted by a fading red vest.
Your gray hair creates a halo effect;
a pious merchant, an aging choir boy. Impostor.

Where are you my king?

You are there
a shadow on the horizon
amidst a fleet of ten a hundred a thousand
engulfing as the waves that surround this island
seated on the ama, eyes perched on the shores of Waikiki.
You are there in the tall grass of Nu'uanu,
sun gleaming off your thighs your chest
mo'o skin helmets your face allowing
only the black pupil widening to be seen,
your calloused hand holding back the spear
anxious for the release. You are there
in the first clashes of muscle and teeth
salt sweat drawing light onto your skin
as the elepaio shrieks in the branches above.
Your spear tip pushes father and brother to the edge
Imua! Imua! and 400 more leap like mullets
into stony nets waiting below.

A pact of silence has been made by the bones left behind,
I go to those pastures to break it. I go to listen
to find you my king. Too many have been mislead by this canvas.

-Christy Passion

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