Introduction by Ted Kooser: I flunked college physics, and anything smaller than a BB is too small for me to understand. But here’s James Crews, whose home is in St. Louis, “relatively” at ease with the smallest things we’ve been told are all around and in us.
I could almost hear their soft collisions
on the cold air today, but when I came in,
shed my layers and stood alone by the fire,
I felt them float toward me like spores
flung far from their source, having crossed
miles of oceans and fields unknown to most
just to keep my body fixed to its place
on the earth. Call them God if you must,
these messengers that bring hard evidence
of what I once was and where I have been—
filling me with bits of stardust, whaleskin,
goosedown from the pillow where Einstein
once slept, tucked in his cottage in New Jersey,
dreaming of things I know I’ll never see.