Jessica Reed



Regarded by physicists as a material point,

            nearly hypothetical, real as an egg,

            composed of matter. So little spatial

extent: a place (usually), a thing (barely).


I list the problem’s knowns

            and unknowns; write velocity, position, the time

            elapsed. A particle’s motion is described.

Should I embroider an address?


A point whose position changes

            in space. Why crumble soil

            between your fingers? Moving

is a function of time. This pointed



            Imagine a tiny dot

            as a ship in the water, in black space

and sailing west to east, always


west to east. One

            cannot chart the motion

            of a body through absolute

space. Instead we define


the positions of bodies

            with respect to one another:

            a lover’s body, silly and holy

at once. You there and I here


and both here a contradiction.

            “I’m either very small,” he said,

            “or I’m nowhere at all.” Atoms,

thousands of times smaller


than the smallest

            light waves our eyes

            can see—everything

in an impossible radius.




Jessica Reed’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in North American Review; Bellingham Review; Conjunctions; Tinderbox Poetry Journal; Spiral Orb; Kudzu House Quarterly; The Fourth River; and Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing. She has an MFA in poetry and a BS in physics, and lives in Indiana with her husband and seven buff chickens.