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An upper estimate of the total number of atoms in the universe.

10 to the 92

Kneegee_croppedby twdhughes11 Feb 2014

Thought, matter,
all manifestations of
physics, chemistry
are a sediment of nuclear
spins. This, as you
read, is a computation.
Like it or not,
you flip your bits
at the quantum scale
to the rhythm of my words.

In the slow turn of the printed
page, still entropy foments.
Atomic movement means
the physical matter
of what you read
is an energy store,
is a catalyst;
or is just hopping mad
with the second law.

For it is elementary;
you are frantically
computing at the sub-
atomic level. At the smallest
scale
you are divided,
torn between particle and
wave. Whether you realise or
not, your mind would have you
be in two places at once.

And more than your numinous
mind; your actual brain at
the quantum level
would have you pass,
protonic,
through the needle’ eye
into two slits
in time.
In one breath

which you did not take
in this particular world
you agree with me;
in another, our history
decoheres to irreconcilable
fables of reality. If it is helpful,
imagine the unlit
corridor crossroads;
the passage to Eliot’s
unexplored rose-garden.

I have every sympathy.
With time we find
greater truth in the axiom
that a work is never
quite finished;
that in this world
I put down the pen,
and in another,
it is forever poised to write.

In this one, even,
my thoughts branch,
meaning is inconsistent; my
intentions are unclear to myself.
My ghost takes your hand
in the space between
the lines. Gaps
in the syntax
are the breathing space
of the ineffable particular.

If all final light
and means of measuring
were removed from this airless
room, we would exist here and
there, our fractured
reactions more honest;
when we went home, alone,
our inverted attitudes would
remain, entangled in these words.