Inside a Nuclear Reactor
by Alice Mullen
Whole lives begin and end
in a thousandth
of a thousandth
of a thousandth of a second.
all occur in infinitesimal portions.
Protons give sentimental tokens
to one another,
through dancing electrons,
spinning in joyful abandon
to the music of quark logic.
Schrödinger's symphony builds to a cacophony.
Rhythm breaks down to decay the choreography.
Neutrons, split apart—with the grief of separation grow cynical.
Unstable and paranoid they guard their neutrinos from others.
Resentment and regret grow exponentially;
to radiate outward,
seeping into the ground water.