Spring 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1999 |

Waking from a Dream

There was a nothingness, an impulse, a quark flittering around existence in a place of purest emptiness, no light, no dark, a flicker of mathematics in manifold space, less a movement than a moment. Still, less a moment than numbers, that slowly start folding into others the way they will, like numbers on a checking account and a credit card. Then moving to build toward everything we've been, the quarks became the cores of electrons, flying formations like clouds around their kin who sit at the center of atoms like toy suns. Already there were forces weak and strong, the seeds of war and empire and molecules. There were such clear signs all along with no one to read them. Molecules in pools complicated themselves into protoplasm then suddenly into Mary Beth and Sam, both looking dimly backward across a chasm to numbers that somehow came to give a damn, that one day would look an hour for a simile, that one day would cry almost as one for the One who might have bee

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Miller Williams was author, editor, or translator of twenty-eight books, including twelve volumes of poetry. He was widely recognized with national and international awards and with two honorary degrees and was inaugural poet for the second inauguration of President Clinton. Recent books of poetry include Living on the Surface: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press), Adjusting to the Light (University of Missouri Press), and Points of Departure and The Ways We Touch (both from University of Illinois Press).

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