“Oh, my! That Johnnie boy!
So crazy with desire.
While thinking of his Dollie
His pillow catches fire.”
(Verse the young Einstein wrote to his first wife,
Mileva, whom he, in time, was callously unfaithful to.)
In dreams begin not responsibility,
as Delmore Schwartz said, but roundness,
which, like gravity, was once
as hard to understand as relativity.
The wife, who watched her patent clerk sail
to the west, awoke to discover,
when he returned from the east,
the round earth flat, their home a jail:
sunlight squared is a whoreson,
equal to all the infidelity in the world.
The calculating clerk looked at figures,
understood curves and clocks are one,
understood, as scurvy is cured by lime,
the bias of space, the whirligig of time.
Robert Forrey, 2009