Icons Icons to be used for Apiary Magazine's website. Arrows Created for Apiary Magazine's website. confetti Created with Sketch.
  • Search Philadelphia Literature
  • Apiary in Print
    • Apiary 1
    • Apiary 2
    • Apiary 3
    • Apiary 4
    • Apiary 5
    • Apiary 6
    • The Power Issue
    • APIARY 8 Soft Targets
    • APIARY 9: Sanctuary
    • Our Tenth Issue
  • Apiary on the Web
    • APIARY Online Winter 2013
    • Apiary Online Summer 2013
    • Special: Apiary Valentine's Day 2012
    • Apiary Online Winter 2012
    • Apiary Online Summer 2011

Newton's First Law of Motion

by Sojourner Ahebee

I’ve always wondered what became of the roses you planted by my bedroom window.
Papa, I’ve wondered if they’re still there, lulling some other little girl to sleep
in that Ivorian humidity: or if the salamanders have taken to eating the petals
cause they mistook them for love; cause war does crazy things.

Yesterday, a boy was shot on the baseball field, with the earth breathing under him
as a way to soak up all the the blood. The boy had been running
a solid 10 miles per hour. He’d been running for home.
(Papa, these other boys have baseball and diamond-shaped plates that tell them where home is.
You never left me a map.)
But the boy who’d been shot was a sort of constant velocity with his sneakers pounding against
the dirt floor, eliminating all the static friction in the world. Yeah, he was a velocity all right:
Newton told me in a dream that the difference between speed and velocity
is that velocity knows what direction it’s going; speed is someone who hasn’t found God yet.

But, as this boy lay on the tongues of the grass he was forced to find God,
he was forced into a stupor of uniform motion.

Ring around the rosy. Pocket full of posies. Newton Newton, we all fall down.

When did bullets become external forces? I heard about the dead boy on the baseball field
while listening to the radio.
I wish I could bring him my father’s roses at his funeral. Maybe he’d find consolation
in the scent. After all, we were two people
who never made it home.

I wish Newton would stop talking to me in my sleep. I don’t care for your laws, Isaac.
I just want to eat roses and play baseball a hundred times over. Newton, you should have let him keep his velocity, cause that would have meant he’d be breathing.

Papa, Papa, Papa, the flowers won’t grow. They’re stuck in some state of rest.

Read all work by Sojourner Ahebee


More Info