The Weak Force

Maybe we went spinning out of a womb
that flashed, a particle accelerator,
and something massless broke away 
that looked like light, resembled 
small souls that could only be inferred.
One morning in Bio Lab I cut along
the ventral surface of a fetal pig, 
separated the red latex-filled arteries, 
on the qui vive for gullet and a heart 
that never beat outside its mother, 

something nonetheless escaping 
beneath a gloved touch neither force 
nor memory, the odor of preservative
scalding the eyes, because looking was
infinite with the particles of strangeness 
and charm, where the thymus and the 
base of the tongue languished without 
impulse or speech, this silence only decay, 
this intricate homologue of wing or fin 
now mirroring what we owe to creatures 

who walk on the tips of their toes—yes, 
it must have been cruel to see us rise 
and go, full-footed, out the front door.  
All that farewell. All that I’ll tell you
where I am, among rumors of huge
bombs in a desert, the absence to come
of so many. History and violence confused
in their anatomies with liberty, with a
protective covering, a skin that stiffened
into an odorous surface with no further life.    
John Allman | Mudlark No. 37
Contents | In The Lecture Hall