Lauren K. Carlson

Scientists At Fermilab Close In On Fifth Force Of Nature

Under the gas pumps, and charging
            stations, Dollar General, the mail

room at the post office, under traffic
            lights, crab grass, vacant lots, flower shops,

a terrible potential, like the piano’s lowest note, struck,
            amplified and groaning, searching our waste inundated world,

saturated with scales—armored eyes,
            numb to a degree, of what to call it,

how to identify, number or quantify, like lark’s feathers
            tossed into the hurricane, or a boat

captain who mistakes the pier, more precise to say
            does not see it in the dark, crests the concrete and crashes

there, beached, the barrier broached, vessel
            immobilized yet witness to infinite points of light   

which a single dayfilled atmosphere obliterates. The built environment’s
            multitudes and the wildfire’s random mercies:

what’s spares, what causes
           red giant, black hole, big bang.

Lauren K. Carlson

Lauren K. Carlson is the author of the chapbook Animals I Have Killed (Comstock Review Chapbook Prize 2018). She currently serves as editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal and holds an MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.). For more see