String Theory by Rachel Swirsky

If the universe is a tapestry woven

            with sheer silk threads that unite subatomic

                        quarks with the whistling vastness of the milky way

if dimensions are wound

            like angora around a spindle:

                        height, weight, depth, time

                                    and a mysterious myriad more

                                                tangled into a knotted skein

if a strand of raw russet silk is all

            that ties our provincial intergalactic home

                        into the weave of neighboring universes,

                                    like sequins sewn onto a skirt of gauze

                                                reflecting the brightness of each other's suns,

            Then is God a weaver leaning over her loom:

                        long black hair winding into her work, fingertips

                                    callused from the mundane wounds reality inflicts

                                                on any tender skin, her shuttle’s shadow swift

                                                            as a supernova and darker than a black hole?

                                                Or is God the tabby perched at her feet

                                                            stretching one inquisitive paw toward

                                                                        a gold floss dazzle dangling loose

                                                                                                to see what

                                                                        happens when

                                                his claws

                       

            catch

                       

                        and the universe

                       

                                                            unravels...?                  




Rachel Swirsky's poems have appeared in Sybil's Garage, Lone Star Stories, and Goblin Fruit, among many other venues. In 2008, her poem "The Oracle on River Street" came in third place for the Rhysling award. She currently lives in Bakersfield, California, where she's acquired a tabby kitten whose views on cosmology are unknown.