5.11.2009

Glass: A Love Story


We used to think, in our high-chair years,
in hand-worked gowns and miters,
that windows slid like rain because
their very souls were water.

Now we use the cosmic word,
shapeless itself: amorphous.
If you were in that eleven a.m. classroom
and the test said to define it, you,
sixteen, would know with rock-solid
certainty that amor-phous means "full of love."

Tomorrow we will tip the cup
that holds this estate's mirrors,
and silver and gold and perfect curls
will mingle in the goblet,
the ever-unchanging vessel.





Man-made glass has been around since the at least Bronze Age, and yet chemists and physicists are still at odds over whether it's a liquid or a solid. Some have settled on "amorphous solid." I just love this, this not knowing in the face of millennia of familiarity.

photograph of a shattered Saint Cecilia by Michael Krueger

2 comments:

Mr. Apron said...

This is a very beautiful poem.

And you're right about the liquid/solid debate surrounding glass. It's just like that Richard Thompson song, "Was She a Woman or a Man?"

We just... don't... know.

Kate Horowitz said...

Apron Boy--

Your mind is a very special place.


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