portion of the artwork for Margaret B. Ingraham's poetry

Another Special Relativity
Margaret B. Ingraham

for Taije

My understanding of Einstein’s Theory
of Special Relativity is best reduced
to the three points that I can recite:
It relies upon observers to be true;
applies only to inertial states;
and ties itself to speed of light,
faster than which, the theorist assumes,
nothing in the universe can move.

For a century those postulates held true.
But recently I’ve heard physicists
have discovered light to take
an altogether different route—
have found the impulse of light
to be fleeter than light itself;
that is, to exceed light’s speed
so that it exits a vacuum chamber
even before it enters there.
All of that, they confidently explain,
while absolutely true, apparently
may only be construed to revise,
but not dispute, what Einstein theorized.

Nor does this different hypothesis,
an unconventional relativity I deduced
from observing light’s effulgence
or its taije, as it can otherwise be named,
when it seemed detached and caught
within a vacuum-chambered emptiness:
Light invariably spawns light
that follows original radiance
even in what might at first appear
to be a case of one’s inconstancyŚ
that is, of light abandoning its impulse,
or of taije drifting from its light.
That is to say, although it remains
quite difficult to prove, the two,
while in states wholly unobserved,
remain, albeit separate, in tandem
motion constantly and then assume
unique specific gravity that keeps
source light tethered to its effulgence
in perpetuity.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 34 | Fall 2011