from Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
Who understands the world, and when
Will he make it make sense? Or she?
Maybe there is a pair of them, and they sit
Watching the cream disperse into their coffee
Like the A-bomb. This equals that, one says,
Arranging a swarm of coordinates
On a giant grid. They exchange smiles.
It's so simple, they'll be done by lunchtime,
Will have the whole afternoon to spend naming
The spaces between spaces, which their eyes
Have been trained to distinguish. Nothing
Eludes them. And when the nothing that is
Something creeps toward then, wanting
To be felt, they feel it. Then they jot down
Equation after equation, smiling to one another,
Lips sealed tight.
(included here with permission of Graywolf Press)
Thank you, Tracy K. Smith -- and congrats and best wishes for your term as U. S. Poet Laureate.