Parallel Universes

He, pondered on the nature of infinity.
She, tried to paint infinity on a large canvas.
He dwelt in a singular world of quarks and mesons.
She lived in a physical world of paints and colour.
When he started speaking of ‘charm’ and ‘beauty’
she thought they’d found at last a common interest,
until he explained they were ever smaller particles of matter.
When he was energised, she would be tired and paint splashed,
he explained it in terms of Pauli’s exclusion principle concerning
fermions, which can’t be in the same energy state at once.
She threw cobalt blue and crimson madder onto flake white
which she had to admit looked nothing like infinity.
He went to a conference and spoke of anti-matter,
she overheard some talk about the curvature of space
so she pinned a sheet of paper to the wall and with a brush.
drew a large curve beginning at the bottom corner.
She reached the edge of the paper before the top of the curve,
nowhere for the brush to go, so she carried on along the wall
and out of the open door where she found only air to paint on
where the brush left no mark and she had to give up.
He was furious about the Prussian Blue on the wall,
she told him it was only made up of protons and neutrons,
he told her not to speak of what she did not understand.
The argument that followed was similar in nature
to the Big Bang in sound and fury, and afterwards
they expanded silently and swiftly away from each other.
He became excited about looking for the Grand Unified Theory
with the serious men he met at conferences, and String Theories
seemed the way to go. She brought him a ball of string
from the garden shed, and said he and she could be grand and unified.
He nearly strangled her with the string, then started studying
some long document about dimensions and subatomic particles.
She threw paint in handfuls at the canvas, Burnt Sienna,
Viridien, Chrome yellow, Spanish Ochre, Indigo, Ivory Black.
One day, she took her smallest brush with the finest point
and painted an infinitesimal dot in the centre of a blank wall.
At last she was satisfied that she had painted infinity.
When he returned he said what she had painted was nothing.
Very timidly she suggested that perhaps that is what infinity may be.


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