A Theory of Everything

It has something to do with invisible string

rippling out across a universal sunset,

wrapping us up like the perfect brown corded package.

Something to do with the vibration of stars—

how they flicker in tune with each other, humming cosmically.

And though I’ve never seen this reported anywhere

I also believe it has something to do with dogs.

For who else has such capacity to forgive

an entirely other species? Well, yes, God

but I don’t mess around with God.

So in my theory, the wet nose of a dog

fits in the space where our heart has been cut out.

And after dogs, the pure yellow of lemons,

the affection small children hold for Band-aids, the urge

to touch a stranger’s bald head.

It all has a place in the Theory.

Name it and I will hang it on the clothesline.

Name it, I will chop it up for soup.

What’s not to believe, anyway, in a theory

that has room enough for all other theories,

even those that say this Theory is shit?

Sure, the vibration of strings we cannot measure.

And yes, the strings are so fine we haven’t

found them yet. One might surmise

this is not about strings, but our desire

for strings. You too are welcome

at this Party of Everything.

Come to my house, into my house:

we will speak of aqueducts and whiskers;

we will eat brown bread and touch our feet

under the table. You can tell me

we are not connected, that there is nothing

holding us together.

I will tug your ear and peck you softly on the lips.

~ First published in Rhino, 2007; A Theory of Everything, 2009, Autumn House


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