Tuesday, March 8, 2022



Where do the photons come from

When a match is lit?

I’d always assumed 

The light is just trapped,

Patiently waiting to be released.

But physicists assert that

Photons actually arise de novo,

Scratched into existence

Every time an electron falls

From a higher energy level

The steeper the fall

The brighter the flash of light

Which means they’re just an accounting trick

A rote tallying up of numbers  

To make two sides of an equation match 

A sunrise reduced to the ineluctability of math

Shooting stars as trailing digits after the decimal

The light of our bright shining world 

Nothing but a squaring of yearly ledgers

I still choose to believe

The light was always there

Surreptitiously hiding itself

In tips of red phosphorus

Just waiting to be struck


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