Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘physics’

 

 

 

And though I can’t remember

what I wrote last night, which seems

like ten years ago, I rattle off,

a body at rest remains at rest and

a body in motion remains in motion

until acted upon by an external force,

and then, mid-sentence, I have some small

fantasy about being a body at rest,

a body at rest that stays at rest, a body

at rest that is somehow entirely unacted upon,

not by breakfast, not by school, not by work,

not by mewling cats or errant bears

traversing the porch, not by nightmares

nor bladder nor hot flash nor chill,

and I think to myself that Newton

was really, really on to something,

some sweet world he posits

that I now long for, a world

where a woman might find

such rest, might be such a body.

Read Full Post »

 

 

My son and I lean together over the thin resistor,

the nine volt battery, the LEDs in blue and red.

 

We fuss with the copper tape as it twists and sticks

where we don’t want it to stick. But eventually,

 

there is light, a small blue light. He can’t stop looking

at the glow on the table. I can’t stop looking

 

at the glow in him. I remember so little

about how electricity works. Something

 

about electrons being pushed through the circuit.

Ours is simple, a series circuit, with only one way

 

for the electrons to go. But I know that no matter

how complex a circuit, the same laws of physics apply.

 

It’s like love. No matter how intricate the scenario,

the laws themselves are always the same.

 

There are two laws of love, I tell myself.

One: you can’t predict anything. And two,

 

it will change you. For good. I swear

as I stare at him now, I can feel the electrons

 

moving in my own body. Or are those tears,

twin currents following familiar paths.

Read Full Post »

One Question

 

after William Matthews

 

 

like the universe, ever expanding,

ever moving beyond its center,

is that what love is?

Read Full Post »

Before Work

So Mom, he says, If you’re ever falling on a platform
toward the ocean, let’s say from the edge of the space, and
you’re falling so fast that the impact would kill you, here is what you do.

We are eating buttered bagels with jam. The small silver table
reflects the long slant rays of early morning sun. I take a bite,
and look at him with eyes that say, Go on.

Well just before you hit the waves, he says, you jump.
You have to get off the platform, because once in the air
you become your own force. And it still might hurt, but you’ll live.

I do not recall enough of physics to be certain he is right.
But it sounds as if it could be true. And I stare at him
until he stares back, his mouth rimmed with poppy seeds.

It’s possible that it could work on land, too, he says,
though chances are it would hurt a lot more.
I wonder when he learned to say things such as, “Chances are.”

I do not tell him I have fallen, fallen from the edge of known.
I do not tell him there was no platform for me to jump from.
I do not tell him I was scared.

I say, That is very good advice. I’ll remember that next time
I fall. And we eat our bagels in the morning sun. And I fall in love
with the boy, with forces I don’t understand, and with the feeling of falling

right through the sunlit room, right through the breakfast chair,
right through the platform that might someday save me.
The dust sparkles like surf in the air.

Read Full Post »


Once connected, objects affect one another forever no matter where they are.
—Bell’s Theorem

I suppose, my dear, what Mr. Bell
was not trying to say explicitly, although
he surely knew it was implied,
is that you are forever stuck with me,
with my sake-drinking, poem-loving,
unable-to-fix-a-snowblower energy.
And by forever he means forever. Long after
our bodies are gone, whatever streams
of energy still go on, well, our streams
will be invisibly connected even after the sun
burns out and the earth is dimmed or blown to bits.
No decay or divorce or desire or distance will change it.
It isn’t of course that simple. Although it is.
Particle. Wave. Nothing basic is ever easy to explain.
Though somewhere in your individual electrons
you know it is true. I’m not trying to be creepy.
I’m just saying that some things we get to choose
and some things are already done.
Like the fact that we are connected forever.
Like the fact that Friday is Valentine’s Day,
and no matter who you are with or where you are,
we’ll be celebrating it together.

Read Full Post »

F Equals

At the campfire, Sam’s father
tells me that Newton’s Second Law

is not always true. I add it to
my growing list of rules to not

depend on. Let’s say in this equation,
the woman is the mass. This is,

of course, a private joke, and
she can laugh about how inconsistent

the mass might be. Fix her to a moment, then,
say that Sunday morning when her kitchen

smelled of apples simmering whitely on the stove,
the steam of the giant canning pot filled

the room with warmth. Let’s say the force
is the voice of the man as he says

the words he knows she hates to hear.
The force is soft spoken and low. Then a equals

the increasing rate at which the woman’s heart races
then runs from the room, though her body still stands

behind the green counter, stirring the simmering fruit.
And a is the increasing rate at which her tears fall.

And a is the rate of the wind as it moves the storm closer
to the walls of the house where the kitchen is warming.

And a is the rate at which the mass learns yet again
that she must be her own bliss.

And what has happened to value m? There is less
of her now than the equation might suggest.

I believe you, I say to Sam’s dad. The fire
snaps between us. The leaves rustle

in the wind. In a perfect world, I could
measure them. In a perfect world, I wonder

what happens to the force.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: