Truth and Beauty, by Jon Wesick
Only two women took theoretical physics.
It was the 70s after all. General Relativity
the more beautiful of the two
went for a counter-culture look
to emphasize her body of pure geometry –
jeans, sweater, and hair swept up
and held in place with chopsticks. Light
from a billion galaxies sparkled in her eyes.
While the professor droned on I watched her
rosy fingertips toy with her beads
and dreamed of bedding someone like her
but she had already broken my classmates’ hearts
and would sabotage several careers.
The other one, the Standard Model, had been cobbled together
from spare parts with a catfish’s face and old refrigerator body.
She wore orange plaid blouses with purple skirts
and her complexion broke out with rashes of infinities.
Before class she made us arrange chairs with micrometers
and would scream if one was an atom width
out of position.
Last year I met the Standard Model again at a coffee shop
where she gave me a velvet jewel box. Inside
was a platinum engagement ring
set with a Higgs boson. I slipped it on my finger,
admired how it sparkled in the sun,
and prepared for a long, passionless marriage
Jon Wesick hosts Southern California’s best ice cream parlor poetry reading and is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Metal Scratches, Pearl, Slipstream, Space and Time, Tales of the Talisman, and Zahir. The editors of Knot Magazine nominated his story “The Visitor” for a Pushcart Prize. His poem “Meditation Instruction” won the Editor’s Choice Award in the 2016 Spirit First Contest. Another poem “Bread and Circuses” won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists Contest. Jon is the author of the poetry collection Words of Power, Dances of Freedom as well as several novels. http://jonwesick.com