Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Velocity of Love

1. Particle Physics

On the scale we're now talking,
we know nothing is solid,

matter riddled with the fretwork
of subatomic tumult.

Even the smooth, gold bands
we've wrapped around our fingers

are turbulent inside
as the rings of Saturn,

that orbiting debris field
that was once a moon, broken up

by the tug and welter
of gravitational tides.

Even our bodies,
which we vowed in unison

to love for all our days,
are made up

on their deepest level
of a chaotic stew of particles

that don't answer to anything
but a conflicting set of rules:

to attract when apart
but once linked, repel.

2. The Uncertainty Principle

We know now that we can't know
the velocity of love

at the same time
that we pin down its position.

Measuring changes everything.
Being able to say

where love stands
alters its momentum.

No wonder it makes me nervous
to mark our seventh year together,

spreading out a blanket
under the bright dice of stars

where those that burn hottest
are the most prone to going out

in a supernova explosion,
Rigel in Orion

or Polaris in The Bear,
someday vanishing from the story

where we imagined them
linked forever.

No wonder it makes me nervous,
knowing what we know

about Schrödinger's cat
and how the stars,

in whose light
our love shimmers tonight,

may or may not
be already dead.

3. Towards a Unified Field

The universe may be made of music
after all, countless

miniscule strands of energy
vibrating and bombinating

in a subatomic hum
where we thought nothing was.

Unruly music,
lurking under the level

of the Planck scale:
the bosons and gluons,

the messenger particles
love can still set thrumming

in your body, mine,
the superpartners

with their incompatible spins
held moment-

in a delicate symmetry.

Isn't that how we hold
each other these days,

the way breath
can be held,

or the strings
they're now saying

might make everything

but aren't necessarily tied
to anything.

Copyright © 2009 Kate Gleason All rights reserved

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