The Shape of Things
I’ve been reading the science books again
before bed, where I am lost
in the search for the unified field,
where Einstein said the universe is
curved, where the new cosmologists—
a prolific gang of guessers—un-
characteristically say they just aren’t sure . . .
and it’s all spinning about
in my drowsy brain, where I look out
the window to the full October moon
above the tomatoes still swelling
on their vines, and it comes to me
that the universe is round —
and round, too, whatever
the universe floats in, and
what contains that as well,
ad infinitum . . . .
belief is circular, day or night,
standing on its hands, turning
cartwheels across the flimsy
infrastructure of the mind, ripples
to the pond edge, around the globe
of the cerebellum that knits the invisible
in place. Because the sky has always been,
and the circulations of the air about us,
and the circumlocutions of every politician,
Sadducee, Pharisee, and Holy Roller,
the men just changing coats
and shipping off over seas to war.
Because whatever we have done
comes back to us, down the causeway
of clouds, the grey circuitry of matter.
Fate as a wheel and the randomness
forever riding there. And the form
of our cells, the protozoa, sea foam,
the soul, and the principle of uncertainty
glowing like cilia all about our skin.
Equally the cranium, the apple forsaken,
the spun planets and flung stars,
the crowns of the beech trees
in sun, and my cats curled up
in every bit of galactic contentment
they will ever know.
is an architecture of worship,
a pint-sized quantum dome—a locus,
a curve satisfying all the points
of the chaotic equation. Because
a photon has a marrow of light,
and a quark and neutrino are infinite
currency, and yet the ineluctable
drift-net of the dark takes it all—
the music of the spheres
sashaying beginning to end,
like Carmen for example,
the flaming rose, the flood-lit
stage, the ellipses of love and
the essential accelerant of our blood
as she throws down her cigarette
and circles the men in theme
and variation, like most everything.
Because of the oblong direction
of hope, the spiraled galaxies, our
elliptical desire a case in point,
hard-wired into the stars . . .
and add in, of course, the glorious,
of the breast.
of the mitochondrial gears,
the distractions of dust
swimming up, of thought likewise
turning to froth, the complete confusion
of our first word with our last,
the apostrophe of breath
that proclaimed us, the little air
we relinquish and absorb.
the hand cannot be gathered
into your arms, into the empty
hoop wishes finally are—
sand dollars and sunflowers,
gold lichen high in the Sierras,
like fragments of falling stars, the 10%
that are iron or nickel, the afterthoughts
and how the ashes are carried
off . . . .
You can add a zero
to the sum, to the overview,
the intrigues of loss—big bang and
the blue orbs of quasars still bubbling
forth, the unified field gone
to pieces at the get-go,
the blast-furnaces of each recycled
sun spinning in the outer precincts
with our dim expostulations, hoping
to roll it all back into a ball.