The Scientist Solves a Puzzle
Like the boy in the Snow Queen story,
playing with ice and fire, trying to spell “love”
or “salvation,” ending up with only broken shards.
I don't remember what I wanted to accomplish.
When did I find myself so far away, so bruised with frost,
so unseeing? There are crystals in my heart, fragments
of mirror in my eye. I stack one atom next to another,
then force them apart, race them against the clock.
I'm only guessing. Endothermic, exothermic.
Is that what brought on this nuclear winter? I forget.
I remember a long time ago I thought it would always be exciting,
that logic would save the day, man’s triumph over matter.
White lab coats, secret caves for experiments.
Atomic man. Radioactive boy. Tick tick tick.