Stephen Hawking needed someone to keep him talking.
And what talking it was, the tablet of the cosmos snapping
like bone before the muteness that was really him
behind the voice the world identified as Hawking.
People, give it up for him!—our true voyeur of the universe
strapped to a wheelchair, his face-twitches converted into words
like galaxy, black hole, theory of everything.
Hawking needed help: a wizard of wheelchairs with batteries
connected to their backs that feed the computer that opened to him
language and the Internet, cellphones, TV and doors at his office
and in his home. Could you maintain this? said the sign
below the photograph above the back of his wheelchair.
I know what he meant: Even the universe is moving on over time,
spreading ever outward, spreading itself thin.