Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

         Atom Smashers

by David Meischen

                                              a shrinking syllabic—13, 11, 9
Fundamentally subatomic, the quark chases
immortality, waving, waving at Enrico
Fermi while the antiquark, Max Plank’s prodigal son,
spins theoretically—the quantum mechanical
dance! The quark comes in six flavors—varied as bedroom
preferences—up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom. I come un-
glued. What I cannot see governs me. I want something
elemental: drop an apple on my head when I
nod off napping. Wake me to simple wonders. Give me
unclouded sun, a magnifying glass, anthills to
incinerate, smoke signals, even—wildfire leaping
through aspen, innocent oxygen feeding flame. Close
the door on the atom. But leave the key in the lock.
Quantum mechanical wave—subatomic,
fundamental—the quark, the antiquark spin,
Max Plank, Enrico Fermi, prodigal sons
chasing atom’s preferences (up, down, charm, strange).
Waving theoretically, I come unglued.
I want something elemental. Bottom? Top?
Wake me when I nod off. Drop an apple. Give
me wonders unglued, sun signals I cannot
govern. Wildfire. Dancing. Immortality.
Innocent oxygen magnifying smoke.
Close the bedroom door. Unlock me. Leave the key.
Subatomic prodigal dancers:
Enrico spins unglued while Max waves
at quantum flavors—bedroom wonders
I cannot govern. Give me wildfire
when I nod off napping, innocent
aspen feeding flame. Elemental
signals, unlock me. Charm the apple.
Come. I want unclouded smoke. Up, down,
strange, top, bottom. Incinerate me.

David Meischen has been honored by a Pushcart Prize for his autobiographical essay, “How to Shoot at Someone Who Outdrew You,” available in Pushcart Prize XLII. Recipient of the 2017 Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters, Meischen has recent fiction, nonfiction, or poetry in Borderlands, Bosque, The Gettysburg Review, The Ocotillo Review, San Pedro River Review, Southern Poetry Review, Talking Writing, and elsewhere. Co-founder and Managing Editor of Dos Gatos Press, he lives in Albuquerque, NM, with his husband—also his co-publisher and co-editor—Scott Wiggerman.