Albedo is an expression of the ability of surfaces to reflect sunlight. Light-colored surfaces return a large part of the sunrays back to the atmosphere (high albedo). Dark surfaces absorb the rays from the sun (low albedo).
—Norwegian Polar Institute
Ice is light. All my life,
I’ve taken that for granted.
The ice-covered Arctic
reflects heat from the sun,
keeping Earth from warming
to a lethal degree. That is, until
the glaciers melt into the seas,
whose waters churn darker in reality
than in my mind’s eye. Look
at this timelapse of Earth
from space. As darkness spreads
towards the poles like mold,
more and more heat is absorbed.
Gaia theory tells us Earth is a self-
regulating system, a living thing.
Like every body, celestial or otherwise,
Earth is mortal. It is a portal
from darkness to darkness,
headed to darkness as well,
midnight blue in color, clinging to heat.
I imagine the future, a simulation of the dawn
of life itself: gray rock, punishing skies,
lightning striking a primordial pool
where a single cell becomes two.
We have no idea, really, how it all began.
I want to believe it could happen again.