Trying to Understand String Theory

By Allison Hymas

As soon as I get one theory, they come out with another.
Relativity is outmoded, Einstein sent to a home,
And here I am, knee-deep in cables,
Puzzled over how Plug A fits into Outlet 19.
When in my hand, this wire has three dimensions,
But when stretched over the road, only one.
What does a cable with eleven dimensions look like,
And where can I plug it?
The television screen is strings and gravity is strings.
My head is strings plugged into strings
That jerk and vibrate until I can’t see the fifteenth dimension.
I can’t see a tiny string under my skin
Stretch and bend into a P-brane,
A bubble larger than a universe.
How many bubbles in the quantum foam?
I can’t count them.
My peabrain has only four dimensions;
I stumble on graviton cables and stub my toe—
Now my string aches at both ends.

But the cables get plugged
And the dimensions unfold
And for a moment the screen flares with light
And in the time it takes
For a wormhole to open and close between two atoms,
I see a picture of the smallest quark
Wrapped around a million galaxies
Before a fuse blows under the weight of a folded universe
And all I understand is an afterimage.


Allison Hymas is a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Brigham Young University. She enjoys traveling, science, and writing about both.

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