“The ring in which you are but a grain will glitter afresh forever.”
Nietzsche, Notes on the Eternal Recurrence
Easy to forget when you’re eight and untutored in the rights of the holy, you have no touchstone for the untouched, which makes virgin a word as simple as daguerreotype, for which you also sought definition after some reference heard off public radio earlier in the week. But you’re eight, and your sister at eleven has read the body book without a chapter on babies, so I start with Mary because it’s a week past Christmas, and you know enough about the star and manger to see specialty in a surrogate birthing a god, unaided from the start by the hands of a man. I can’t help mention property, propriety. The real message is a warning: how I lost religion in this vision so delicate the slightest brush of fingertips could forever tarnish. Or in a desire not to be locked behind some enclosure of glass. I never bought a religion’s insistence in men at the head, even more now when men as head seem again eager for the fight. So we try to separate god from the warring faiths, locate the what was before science’s spark, and the why create if life means accepting only one half the image, or only that which mirrors. Or even less. We begin to think science and god aren’t so different, the natural world as random and unfair as an unconcerned creator. We talk about bilingual Jane, her T.V. virginity. And Aristotle, Einstein. Energy that cannot be destroyed, which you say is as close to god as cinema’s force – also wrapped in battlefronts and fictions. I avoid Nietzsche, though we are circling eternal return, because I can’t imagine yet fully a world where humanity means so little to itself. A world floating in some thin space between silver-plated copper and mercury fumes, its image unmoored from its casing, meaning a world all too easy to erase.
Unified Field Theory
The passage of time depends on the particulars – trajectory followed and gravity experienced – of the measurer. Brian Greene, The Hidden Reality
Suggest: time, as acted on by gravity. Light stream of photons or mathematical waves based on your language. Is strength direction, the movement of gears, switch of teeth by valley, and your second split in the ambient radiation that makes each word on each page clearer? The centenarian sees each story in the paper as human oscillation. We repeat, in time, repeat. In time, Einstein sought to unify fields. But only the two named in his time, now four, and we repeat tooth to the valley. Numbers can be words. As words emit from moonglaze in wind whipped waters, the stain of diatomic slides. Is there a theory of such communications lodged on record? To unity, then, we repeat. And hope. For a perspective better than our own. A space that lives life right. A time, to repeat, a light when the potential needs not escape as actual, but holds true to the best dictionaries of all language. So all can mean I have done my share. And let go, time, light, in elegance.
-- Lisa Higgs’ third chapbook, Earthen Bound, is forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks at the end of 2018. She is poetry editor for Quiddity Literary Journal and has reviews at Kenyon Review online and the Poetry Foundation.