The Fine Guilt of Physics
Can starlight fathom the distance it has traveled?
Does it count the time in hours, parsecs, even knots?
If I turn on my DVD, will I thunder through the
Cosmos as another wave of noise until the hand
Of time comes to switch off the hearing-aid of God;
And then, even as the webs of interwoven disruption
Traverse the galactic heavens, the only ears to hear them
Will have been deafened by the headaches of having
Formed them, and been responsible for them.
Do waves of the ocean carry more than the mere sentience
Of amoeba and flagellate as they submit to the un-ending
Rock-and-push sway of the dance? Perhaps the atoms
That interact, but don’t dissolve, have their suitcases
Eternally packed, and have purchased a one-way ticket
From here to anywhere, and wait in the long-lined comfort
Of crowded space and un-sanitary conditions until their
Depot is finally called, and they burst into the crowd
Which looks and acts exactly like the crowd they just left.
I flip the switch that sends millions of photons careening from
Their home: innumerable-greats-grandfather ensconced in the center,
Ringed by so many successive generations until that poor baby-child,
Freshly dressed for the party that’s going on, sits on the outer circle;
And when the music stops, and grandma and grandpa have quit jiving,
Poor little child is thrown off the Ferris wheel, and smacks his tiny,
Ultra-violet self upon the sheen of phosphorous with a whimpering cry,
And just to appease the tribal deities, a sacrifice must be made of
The youngest member of this phosphorescent family, and I have light.