Poems

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?