Published in the Nassau Review
The Problem with String Theory
The opening move involves the transfer
of wrapped string from one player to another,
fingers and thumb weaving diamonds between
empty spaces. It’s a game as old as mankind,
and elegantly explains the whole lot—all known
natural forces, what the world is made of down
to the subatomic composition of the universe.
It’s in the passage of filament from one person
to another where theory goes astray.
In the rush to take possession of the loop,
gravity falls out the holes and rolls away,
leaving us unable to explain the one thing
that would help us explain everything.
In the end, it doesn’t matter, because it won’t be
mathematical precision that pushes theoretical
physics out of the nest, but a length of cord
oscillating back and forth from player to player,
starting at Opening A, cat’s cradle,
continuing onward in infinite combination.
Published in Harpur Palate
The Origin of Humans
Is this the Madagascar glow you told
me about? Tall baobab trees blazing
with the last light of a faded sun? Are
the water-storing trunks and flat tops
twisted out of a fairy tale? Are these
the trade winds dreamed of, carrying
us on outbound tide to sunset? Can
we drift beyond the horizon to meet
the dusk halfway? Why can’t golden
light be our new illuminated currency?
Does slip-silver of leaping fish catch
the wind and flip us back to radiant
fantasy? Will the glistening cycle of
beginning and end bring us closer to
eternity? Who wouldn’t long for Africa
during a full moon? Would you leap
into sapphire waters from hewn cliffs,
clutching my outstretched hand?