The snowflakes, molten feathers of white, come down
the gentle current of the lemming's stroke,
and in the microvortex of a bound-
ary layer, one flake is hurled to a halt:
from buoyant fluid air to atoms fixed
in window glass: from random gaseous mix
to formula of potash, sand and chalk:
transparent to transparent.
within a clockwork universe makes sense--
conveys it to a conscious gaze, and saves
this flake, mere frozen H2O, from men's
idealistic doubt (like the sound of fall-
ing trees in forests, when someone's there to hear).
This adventitious listener recalls
imagined history, from a less-than-zer-
o Celsius, vapor-rich high troposphere,
through drifting, wandering in vector-space
of turbulent forces and aerodynamic ar-
rows: tracing curves of enviable grace,
continuous and differentiable:
an engram of existence converging on
this rendezvous. Two entities, each full
from cosmic whims, then share one moment, anon-
ymous and intimate.
the edges of the flake, 1 calorie-
per-gram-degree, succumb to radiant heat:
transforming crystal structure as it thaws
to Brownian movement: units of three spheres
whose axes of 105 degrees
now map and rotate independently:
hydrogen oxide to hydrogen oxide: a third
collapses. And when it reaches threshold mass,
it breaks the wet adhesion to the sur-
face and gains momentum to the frozen earth.
now hastens with renewed ferocity
across the cells arrayed behind the eye
and is forgotten in a century.
© Douglas Allchin