by Judith Strasser

Cosmic Symphony

Everything, all matter and all forces, is unified under the same rubric of microscopic string
oscillations--the “notes” that strings can play.

-theoretical physicist Brian Greene

How do we score the cricket’s slow crawl
up the stucco, the driveway’s crabapple
litter, the rise of the full moon, for the theorist’s
minuscule strings? Physics breaks open
the atom, plays with electrons and quarks,
explains that vibrations compose not only
the song of the cricket, the sway of the laden
branch, the texture of space that moonbeams
traverse, but the music of life in the mass
of the photon, the putative graviton’s spin.

I tap on the wall. The cricket rounds the corner
and vanishes from sight. I pull up to the house.
More crabapples turn to sauce. The moon
reverses my motion, draws me out to the canyon.
Everything trembles. We move in the same universe,
plucking each other’s strings.

Published in Birmingham Poetry Review,
Winter/Spring 2004