String Theory in Mud Season

Gail Comorat


The essential idea is this: it’s April and snow is melting, oozing
everywhere and you can’t park your car in your driveway without
stepping into it, without its gritty little mouth sucking at your boots

so you decide the only thing to do is give in, call all your friends
and invite them to a party, say The essential idea is this—it’s time
to celebrate string theory so please come in costume
and they do,

all your friends, some dressed as closed strings, others as open strings
but your next-door neighbor Bob decides to be a loophole and everyone
thinks he’ll take the prize until someone else walks in wearing a cardboard

boat filled with milk chocolate pudding, announcing he’s Quantum Gravy
and you realize none of you will ever understand this theory, that April
will become May and the mud will soften more and then settle into

something resembling dirt that will require seeding so you call the lawn guy
who comes with his equipment and measures and scans and performs all
the geometric magic required to transform your mud into a green field again

and when he asks you if you prefer zoysia or pampas or timothy or fine fescue
all those different types of grass start dancing before your eyes, and here’s the real essential idea—

quantum physics is not something you’ll ever embrace, the only connections
you’ll hold will be too brief, there’s no time for lengthy discourse, you’ll own only
that quick, gut-squishy feeling that comes every spring, the one you call living.


Gail Braune Comorat is a founding member of Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild and the author of Phases of the Moon (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in Gargoyle, Grist, Mudfish, Philadelphia Stories, and The Widows’ Handbook. She’s a long-time member of several writing groups in Lewes, Delaware.