… meet the zeroth law of motion.
We’re dropping out of hyper now
into normal space,
the words of Azulinha, the fluidic pilot,
flashed inside my head,
and don’t touch that,
it’s not a percolator.
Soon there’d be no more
chromatic thought transference—
empathic rivers of the gaseous mind.
It would all be stuttering and stumbling
with optics and acoustics
on the surface of the planet.
We were earthly visitations
in our standard-issue
photophoric phased projection gear
(mine with subtle polka dots)
unremarked by passersby.
I circulated clockwise in a library,
a breeze that whispered down the aisles,
a slo-mo whirlwind rustling the pages,
and through the tinted windows,
I saw sapient blood and sap
running red and green
to the clouds and to the earth,
figures with umbrellas oscillating,
and Azulinha as a light serein.
What is movement when it ceases?
I wandered near the humans wagging tongues,
saw power points and power planes,
one way transmissions,
rites and customs, stones and candles,
beliefs: believed and broken.
Yet the solidity was pleasing.
What is knowledge when it isn’t truth?
So different we were, the river and the wind.
I sought substance, moorings, underpinnings
in that place—
math and rules, even grammar
on occasion, the technical
I’m staying here, I told Azulinha.
Here? Where not a soul
will dip a toe into the water?
When she reaches the sea of endings,
Azulinha will weave herself in tides,
spin in swirling countercurrents,
and lap on stranger shores.
And what is the wind
when it stays behind?
A graceless coffee cup
with symbols on a symbol,
floating in an airless solitude
until the force of gravity
decrees it must obey.
The three states of matter. The fourth state is plasma, or ionized gas, not counting Queensland.