Light, A Disturbance
Jessica ReedPoetry / Number 90
What our senses perceive as empty space is actually the home of invisible electric and magnetic fields giving birth to self-reproducing disturbances that travel at the speed of light. …these disturbances are what light is.
No clouds, as if blue were all the sky could summon.
And in that blue, an infinite sheet of charge moving
parallel to itself. And a piece of field birthed here continues
on its own. Now, one field perpetuates another.
A kind of simplicity attained only when one is asked
to imagine what populates empty space. Can I
introspect? I might collapse, doll whose wooden joints are held
by elastic string. Or radiate pure physicality—I might pursue
until raw with exhaustion. Else I am darkness. Your matter
is an emerging from stirring fields. You are impermanent, made
of lasting pieces. Never empty, yet somehow arranged and shimmering.
Are these disturbances what my life is. Clouds gather.
I am never ready. Such facts become fine and sheer at their edges.
Jessica Reed’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Conjunctions, North American Review, Bellingham Review, Waxwing, 111O, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Spiral Orb, The Fourth River, Kudzu House Quarterly, and Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing. She has an MFA in poetry and a BS in physics, and lives in Indiana with her husband and seven buff chickens.Image by Rasmus Landgreen