The CSS Awards - Site of the Day

Romance of the Three Physicists

Jack Foster



I.                    Galileo


Everything I drop plummets to

the ground the same way and everywhere

looks like every place else.


I know the world is flat like

the chessboard in the Pope’s bedroom,

and I’m the piece – possibly a rook,


probably a pawn – falling off the side

of the table after being indulged by a

bishop or a better-off mathematician.


But a flat Earth is infinite

and everything stumbles one way

or another, so who’s to say that a fatal


fall is worse than anything

else that could happen in a world

where the only way to move is down?



II.                 Newton


I guess it’s colder now – we keep

warm with centered suns and multiple

alleyways and routes leading back home.


We feed ravens out of our hands

and admire faded plumage through

copper skeletons and yesterday’s headlines


not because we love art or politics

or sunflower seeds, but because.

we understand how hard it is


to spread wings in a cage that

we can’t fully comprehend – despite its

nebulous appearance – even when we


look through telescopes and bifocals. Science

says we move freely in three dimensions, but

illusions make our movements seem so static.



III.               Einstein


Everything frees up if you surrender

enough time. Remember that

gravity holds things together,


keeps you from drifting too far

apart. If you try running fast enough

maybe you will finally escape


time and reappear when your children’s

children are jaded and arthritic – just keep in mind

that everything changes when you’re gone.


There’s that old saying about

loving things and setting them free,

and you’ve never been sure if that’s


really an option. I only ask that when you finally

come back, you’ll teach me what it’s like to be

a tired young man on an indifferent old earth.






Jack Foster is a Ted Pugh Prize winning writer from Southern California where he serves as the Production Editor of A Few Lines Magazine as well as the Lead Editor of Wormwood Chapbooks. His work can be found in several journals such as The Adroit Journal, Pomona Valley Review, and Yes, Poetry. Jack maintains a blog at

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


View Submission Guidelines


Contact Us