INSERT SHOT: Einstein’s notebook 1905—DAY 1: a theory that is based on two postulates (a) that the speed of light in all inertial frames is constant, independent of the source or observer. As in, the speed of light emitted from the truth is the same as that of a lie coming from the lamp of a face aglow with trust, and (b) the laws of physics are not changed in all inertial systems, which leads to the equivalence of mass and energy and of change in mass, dimension, and time; with increased velocity, space is compressed in the direction of the motion and time slows down. As when I look at Mileva, it’s as if I’ve been in a space ship traveling as close to the speed of light as possible, and when I return, years later, I’m younger than when I began the journey, but she’s grown older, less patient. Even a small amount of mass can be converted into enormous amounts of energy: I’ll whisper her name in her ear, and the blood flows like a mallet running across vibes. But another woman shoots me a flirting glance, and what was inseparable is now cleaved in two.
I would like to swim in the Atlantic,
to swim with someone who understood
why my fear of drowning plays less dire
than my fear of bones, walking the ocean floor.
I would like to sync my stroke with a beloved.
I’d like to stand on deck on a boat
and jump in the sea and say, follow me,
and know you would. The sea is cold
and it’s deep, too, I’d joke,
standing at the edge of the boat’s bow.
A wind breathes across the sea,
joining gently the edges of time.
With a dog paddling behind me,
I want to crawl across the water
without thinking about a future.
I have set my eyes upon the shore
and I hold you there—steady, in focus—
but let you go when, from below,
a voice breaks to the surface.