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I wish you, first, an unimpeded view
with a boundary in it, between seen and unseen,
a line to hold onto when you’re feeling sick,
something to aim for but which retreats
as fast as you travel. May you stay undeceived
and see, not a line, but a curve of the earth:
an elegant offing that leads beyond fear
out to Vasco’s discoveries. It’s three:
visible, sensible, rational – lines
for what we may calculate and what we can’t.

In fog, I wish you mercury sight,
artificial horizon, so that you know
where not to be, quickly. I wish you the gift
of knowing where your own knowing ends.

And finally, I ask: when you reach
the event horizon from which your light
will no longer reach us and space, highly curved,
will hide you for ever, that you watch me arrive –
you shouldn’t see me, but you will –
marching with flashing lighthouses, buoys,
to the edge of your singularity
with fleets of full-rigged ceremonial ships
and acres of scintillating sea.

Poet's Note: Commissioned by The Verb for BBC Radio 3