Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Mass Matters

One physicist calls gravity
A journey . . . that may never end.
Tempting as it is to request

Of this poetic physicist
That she remain in her own lane,
These words are already in hers,

So let’s just attempt to steer clear
Of figurative collisions.
Gravity is not a journey,

But it is always in motion.
Perceived as gravitons or curves,
Falling isn’t truly falling,

It’s more like joining an embrace
That can be weak as anything
But gains strength in joiners joining,

Which would be fine, would be lovely,
Resembling love in poetry,
Except that, as with poetry’s,

Gravity’s love is dangerous,
With even worse asymmetries.
All hearts of little mass are crushed

By the clutch of massed collections
Already madly embracing,
More like a mating ball of snakes—

If those snakes all clumped to make one
Giant coil attracting others
To its single, possessive self,

Until that self itself got gripped,
Compounded in yet another.
Poets haven’t understood love

All that well yet, and physicists
Don’t, yet, comprehend gravity.
There is that clue of the movements,

The motions without which the laws
Would not only be different, but
Not discoverable at all.

Love loves the language of falling,
The metaphors of attraction,
But human love doesn’t require

Asymmetry for love at all
To ever be caught in action,
Does it? Dark matter, if that’s it.

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