Newton's Cradle

            I know that there will be a night when we

will lie like this together for the last time.

If it should be years from now

it would still have come too soon.

            But should it be tonight,

if tonight some inattentive or distracted cell

should plough wantonly through

the busiest cardiac intersection

drive the wrong way down a one way synapse

belief is not enough to hold me

in the blue and red flashing lights of henceforth;

there is no promise for me

in perfection’s gilt icons.

            If it must be tonight

only in the indifference of science

am I reassured

that the first law of love can be proven

in the manner of a high school science teacher

who knows that the class is lost to him,

has turned from him toward the world that beckons

through small screens and large windows;

yet he’s still forced by their beauty

to proclaim equations on a grimy whiteboard

for the wave

that taps through spheres knocking on his desk

            the way my shocked soul —

in its sudden check and backward arch

like a crash dummy stopped, slapped against

the test wall, the ballooning bag,

while fate in its white coat checks a stop watch

— will be propelled forever forward

into your future, love remaining love

when it most alteration finds. 

And so I begin my psalm, my chorus,

I too write my equations on the whiteboard:

‘the conservation of love is given by the following statement…’

Meniscus, forthcoming