A two-faced habit. I steal
glances at passing drivers on the freeway.
In blurry haste everyone is striking.
With twinges of relativity
everyone on the freeway is someone.
Just last week I saw Einstein,
driving home after a nice dinner at JPL
in rush hour on the 605 freeway—
fingers sifting dunes of electric hair.
Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.
The world always moves, if however slowly.
Energy equals cars moving within a square.
Energy equals movement coalescing in a square.
The square is a city. The city is Los Angeles.
He has calculated how to weave through traffic
without touching anything.
A half-wide car fits between the lanes
of space and time.
This mask of self-importance
is forever needing a place to go.
Clutching my steering wheel
never changing lanes.
If you reach the speed of light
everyone will want to know your name.
You just won't recognize yourself anymore.