The Truth About Bubbles

By Charlie Brice

For her work on bubbles Karen Uhlenbeck
became the first woman to win
the Abel Prize in mathematics which
now should be renamed the Eve Prize.

From those effervescent multi-colored bumps
in after-dinner sinks, to those ethereal
transparent balls blown into space by childish
lips, to the huge black hole (a big bubble
born of a dying star) in the Messer 87 galaxy,
55 light years from earth, beautifully
photographed in today’s New York Times,
bubbles permeate everything.

Who doesn’t enjoy bubbles—blameless
pockets of plash even when produced
by lava flow or tsunami? They’re only
along for the ride. They mean no harm.

Perhaps all of us live in a bubble—a hidden
iridescent dome of good intentions and
bon amis. If Professor Uhlenbeck would only
discover its area, compute its circumference,
realize its radius, we’d dance on thermals
of brotherhood and good will until, like a sparkle
of soap suds, we’d burst into the ether,
neverlasting, like a star.

Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), and An Accident of Blood (2019), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Paterson Literary Review and elsewhere.

Image: “Bubble and Color” by Johnny Lai is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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