What to expect from the Hadron Collider as a college roommate

It will probably not be home for supper anytime soon.
Things will get broken and not put back together again.
When you speak to it about paying its fair share of the rent,

it will start at you with that far-away look, or as though it is

squinting at things too small for you to see. Let it,
but go through its pockets on rent day. It will probably
have a million dollars you didn’t notice before.

Do not answer when it asks you for a Higgs Boson,

or where your girlfriend went, as it is hooked
on speed. If it doesn’t get all of its jeans out of the dryer,
it won’t notice if you mail them to the lab posthaste.

The Hadron Collider is always working late.

No, professors will not hold you accountable.
It will always be wearing the T-shirt that says:
See or be seen. You will punch it in the arm

for joy when it finally remembers your name.

Betsy Aoki

Elizabeth (Betsy) Aoki has received poetry fellowships from the City of Seattle, Artist Trust Foundation, Jackstraw Writers Program, and Hedgebrook. Her MFA is from the University of Washington, and she attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her poetry publications include the chapbook, Every Vanish Leaves Its Trace by Finishing Line Press, and inclusion in the Asian American female poets’ anthology Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves. She has a short story in the forthcoming Upper Rubber Boot Books’ anthology, Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good.

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