Charles Joseph Albert


“…and so the sky is blue,” the teacher said,
resolving the equation on the board:
the radius of water droplets, and
the scattering of sunlight into bands.

What clarity! I put away my notebook
and joined the crowd refracting out the back.
In the drizzle darkening the court,
some dim light still shone through the classroom door.

Whitman wrote he left some lecture early
and fled to wonder at the starry sky.
This was a wonder of a different kind–
the universe within the abstract mind.

The thrill of winking out such little truths
seduced me into six more years of school:
the birth of mass, the way light bends in space,
the three known forces of the universe.

Though, in those studies, I had also grasped
that there are questions physicists don’t ask:
What does it all mean? Who was the prime mover?
And what might mean the lack of any answer.


Charles Joseph Albert works in a metallurgy shop in San Jose, California, where he lives with his wife and three boys. He has participated for over eighteen years in the formalist poetry website, learning from masters like Alicia Stallings, Alan Sullivan and Tim Murphy. His poems and fiction have appeared recently in Quarterday, Chicago Literati, 300 Days of Sun, Abstract Jam, Literary Hatchet, and Here Comes Everyone.

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