Carlo Matos

When we moved in July, it cut everything in half.
Our old friend, in his grief, carried with him his rusty razor
trying to divide his morning cereal,
his noon-time sun,
and his evening reading.
We were a Higgs Boson—
a catchy phrase for an impossibly complex idea.
Without us his beard grew raucous,
and his face was bloody from the hacking.
It was all very embarrassing.
It was a line of sand—
without width or depth—
and yet we continued to measure the heaps:
one represented before
the other, predictably, after.
The more we swept, the worse it got.
The little summer, one half collapsing into the other—
a singularity again—if they exist—
was our best result:

Here.            _______________________________________________________ Here.






I wrote this poem the year I moved from California to Chicago. All things that year seemed divided in two. The images (the heap paradox being only one example) all sprang from this feeling. If one removes a grain of sand from a heap and begins to build a second one, at what point do those individual grains of sand become a heap? I then associated this conundrum with Occam's Razor, which deals with unnecessary complexity and simplicity. It brought me finally to the image of the Higgs Boson--a yet undiscovered particle that would help demonstrate how massless particles play an essential role in creating mass.