Nicholas Molbert
Living After the Theory of Everything

It gives me insight to reconcile bafflements long-held,
like mangoes and poison ivy sharing a plant family,and it gives me the prescience of the person who
first called an alligator pear for what it is—an avocado.

I’ll tell you exactly how I believe it happened: scientists
huddled around a chalkboard with TI-84s and an answer

key hoping the numbers plugged into the equation
will come out clean, and if you say no, I will cite

quantum theory with its imposter syndrome and tell you
we are nothing but motion if you look closely enough.

You might humor me and say you’ve found the worm-
hole to the universe where failed gods still laugh absurdly

at their one-hit wonder: how once, over a few drinks,
they tied the Milky Way to a string and played

the ring-and-hook game for the first time, tethering
this galaxy to the Local Supercluster hook in the wall.

Yes, we humans have been grandfathered into this time
of a known master theory, so here, hold this avocado,

this twig of ivy, this calculator, in the river and tell me
the water still doesn’t try to take it away.

Nicholas Molbert‘s work has been published in or is forthcoming from THAT Literary Review, among others. He lives in Champaign, Illinois where he is an MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.