Bookstore Poem #273. A small fantasy that undoubtedly reveals a profound misunderstanding of the behavior of atoms

Despite feeling mostly uninspired by much today, I dragged myself down to Third Place Books, and settled in the chair across from the Science section…

Atoms are made up mostly of space
that means every day I get up
the universe passes through me

Chance collisions modify a molecule or two

The redirected impulses send me
careening off in all directions
some of them completely absent of light
amorphous, seemingly infinite

At the same time, walls close in
I don’t hear breathing
but I know something is there

I try to make myself small

This is where atoms fall short
compressing the spaces they contain
can lead to fusion—
and then atoms rebel

How much matter is left
after the universe has had its fun
and turned to its next experiment?

Where does all that space go?

(14 May 2018)