Modern Physics

By Johannah Racz Knudson

A century isn’t long
though some say so.

It’s just over 100 years
since Einstein’s equation.

He walked New Jersey 
puffing smoke and now, 
 
at the grocery store, 
we see the pores of his face
 
on the cover of  Time or Newsweek,
that same black and white 
 
photo of him looking straight 
into the lens, under the head
 
line What is Genius? They drop 
the bomb to annihilate
 
the question. We are innocent
though some may say 
 
not. They may say advanced
or innovative or cruel or

stupid, whatever 
serves the balance. 
 
We draw equations 
down to their primitive 
 
elements. An equals sign
comforts. The bomb drops. 
 
I wish the poem 
longer. Letters are 
 
numbers. We are absolved 
by certain variables.


Johannah Racz Knudson works from Fort Collins, Colorado as a poet, writer, and writing coach. Her poetry has appeared in Sycamore Review, Puerto del Sol, Northwest Review, Peregrine, Superstition Review, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from Colorado State University and is a two-time winner of the AWP Intro Journals Award. In addition to poetry, Johannah is writing Transylvania Blue, a biography of one man’s survival across the forests of WWII Europe.