In Coutrakon’s Laboratory
Your teeth glinted bright in the dark,
a perfect straight row of bleach-white
ivory, small and sharp.
We sat in the shadows and peered into the
depths of the inner workings of the universe,
saw neutrons and protons and electrons spin-
ning around each other, an endless dizzying
dance to the relentless hum of the galaxy.
the emptiness of space,
the blinding of light,
the speed of our hearts
In those days, the polar vortex was just
reaching DeKalb County. The air was so
cold, they said, your lungs would dry out
and you would become a corpse standing
in the snow, eyes wide, reflecting the sun.
We draped heavy blankets over doorways,
pushed sickly sweet pieces of kettle corn
into our mouths, and listened to the news.
Black inferometers, mirrors on mirrors on
mirrors, diffraction gratings with slits so tiny
we could only dream it in the abstract.
Radiation sources, heated filaments, boiled
electrons. We hooked up anodes and
ammeters, fuses and diodes, capacitors
with infinite potential. Split light into a
thousand wavelengths and beheld its beauty.
The storm raged on outside.
Isabelle Ylo grew up and currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She received a bachelor’s in chemistry from Northern Illinois University, and a master’s in teaching chemistry from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has a pet bunny named Boe.
Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is A Jar, The Phoenix, and The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.