Veterans of the Big Bang

“the knuckle-atoms will not
commingle with the drywall-atoms”

scribbles the physicist in his

notes, pen gripped in a trembling
bleeding hand, chalky white dust
settling all over the lab

at the sub-atomic level everything
seems soft and fuzzy, uncommitted
to being, a penciled-in existence

but there’s a hardness to atoms
that makes you think they’ve
been through bad times, and

came out of it prepared
for the worst, unwilling anymore
to take shit off of anyone

mending their hearts, rectifying
the trauma, suffering PTSD from
their role in the Big Bang, and now

futilely adjusting, after all this time
to the hum-drum work-a-day life
of simply appearing solid