If you’ve read The Joy of Poetry, you know I have a note in the Acknowledgments apologizing to people who gave me permission to use a poem that for one reason or another I didn’t end up using. This is one of those poems. Not only did Marcus give permission, but we have the same publisher, who also agreed. So here it is. A science-y love poem.
for Amy Goodyear
Under French and Swiss, it loops
straddling resistance and neutrality
in tunnels that are many stories
tall. They’ll accelerate particles.
Who knows what that means—
except their white coats and access keys.
The Higgs particle could be in reach
Signatures of supersummetry, too.
Right. I say, accelerate this family.
Send mom round the rings.
Counter-rotate dad and kids
all of them riding seven trillion
electron volt beams like some carnie
just set it up in a mall parking lot:
“6 tickets a ride, or get a wristband.”
Start the flight that ends with a smash.
We’ll all super-collide to find immensity,
energy, strange answers to strangers’
questions. Asymmetry’s embedded here
in the universe—even families—even moms.
Somebody chose what stays and what goes.
Dark matter, gone. Life, the universe,
everything has 23 per cent dross, so mom
lick your finger, smudge the cheek of all
existence and say, Smile for the camera.