portion of the artwork for Matt Morris's poetry

History of Nothing
Matt Morris

                   While I do not understand
                                the theory of everything
        & I may not understand
                                                  the theory of anything,
I do understand nothing.
                                                              In the beginning was nothing
                   & nothing was everywhere,
                                though that’s not exactly true.
        There was nowhere for nothing
                                                  to occupy. Space was yet
a sly twinkle in the eye
                                                              of nothingness, which is
                   also imprecise, for this
                                was, paradoxically,
        before time itself. (Ergo,
                                                  questions about how widespread
nothing was & how long it
                                                              existed are nonsense, so
                   please lower your hand before
                                you embarrass yourself.) One
        theory, the prevailing one,
                                                  claims a fleck of energy
considerably smaller
                                                              than an atom—which wasn’t
                   yet a thing either, you’d do
                                well to remember—somehow
        formed. But, but—I can almost
                                                  hear you sputter—something can’t
come from nothing
, & yet not
                                                              merely something, everything
                   that was & would ever be—
                                starry skies of faraway
        galaxies, silver salmon
                                                  struggling upstream, scraggily
bearded ibexes, jagged
                                                              junipers on snowcapped hills,
                   Picasso, free verse, free
                                love, god, the bomb & all doomed
        humanity—came to be
                                                  in that brief moment, a flash
of an unassuming fleck
                                                              which out of nothing was born
                   & to nothing will return
                                & so forth in that manner.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 54 | Fall/Winter 2019