Sally Zakariya

Sally Zakariya’s poetry has appeared in some 75 print and online journals and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her most recent publication is Muslim Wife (Blue Lyra Press, 2019). She is also the author of The Unknowable Mystery of Other People, Personal Astronomy, When You Escape, Insectomania, and Arithmetic and other verses, as well as the editor of a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table. Zakariya blogs at
A Black Hole Sits for Its Portrait


“First ever black hole image released” – BBC News, 4/10/19


Einstein dismissed them,

later scientists believed in them,

had faith in the math that proved them –

black holes, flung across the cosmos.


But only God could see them, their aura

so bright a thousand suns would blush,

their pull so unimaginably great,

their dark core so unfathomably powerful

that to dare to submit, to cross

the impossible threshold, would be

a one-way plunge to eternity.


Now a black hole sits for its portrait,

focus of ten telescopes around the world

whose sharp eyes knit the immense image

to a size our human sight can register.


And there it is: a point of light in a sea of dark.

But behind that bland portrait is a challenge:

How can we comprehend the inscrutable?

How grasp the mystery, the dark power?

How can we untangle ourselves from our need

to understand the incomprehensible?