by Allan Peterson

We thought we had all day to listen while Richard talked

about his anterior cruciate ligament as he did his transmission
knowingly as if he had some intimate experience other than that
one little crack after the jump shot He’d visualized a drumstick
celery snapped deep in a blanket  wishbone and spoke
as if he had written to it: Dear Ligament come home
We thought we could fix a register to a monkey’s head to study
our shopping habits by what the sad thing selected through the bars
banging the electrodes brushing off wires We looked right at it
and missed the real result our monstrosity We wrote software
to eliminate the doomed illusion of scientific objectivity

We thought when we knew enough about sodium by studying its parts

we would find weightless angels   and among the emergent qualities
soul   that we could prove it with plutonium