Atomic – a poem by Melody Wilson


It’s a reasonable question,
one good friends 
usually get around to:
“How do you envision God?”

You reply, on the phone, 
before we flit to another 
and another subject:
“I think of it as Jupiter’s 
gravitational pull, or
the way atoms can be split 
and then split again, infinitely.  
It’s in there somewhere…”

And then we are talking 
about a woman on the bus, 
or food, or politics, 
and I come to understand.
I can let God be the space 
between diminishing matter.
The solution 
that holds us together
between discussions, 
between words.

Our conversations are volcanic.  
Each idea erupts into being
for consideration and review
and hovers atmospheric
until it diminishes
dwindles really 
and sputters out.

The rising market, 
the decline in music. 
Art, culture, God.
These subjects compose 
our existence, our trajectory 
together.  Each topic beautiful 
and whole, as we divide 
and display them to each other.  
We are forever seeking purpose,
solace.  As if the answers lie
waiting between our words.
But to share a definition, 
a specific vision,
that seems a lot to ask.
Nothing to hold 
in the palm of my hand
just the flaming fragments 
of your infinite mind
fluttering to Earth
like stars.

Melody Wilson
writes and teaches in Portland, Oregon. Recent work appears in Quartet, Briar Cliff Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, and The Shore. Upcoming work will be in Tar River Poetry, Whale Road Review, Timberline Review, and SWWIM. She has recently been awarded the 2021 Kay Snow Poetry Award and is Honorable Mention for the 2021 Oberon Poetry Award.

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