Lunch with Fermi

                                                Image by Elchinator from Pixabay


Let’s make it Chicago
And complicated sandwiches
His fingers are black as graphite
Slippery, and modulating
Reaching for anything critical

He doesn’t mention the Nobel Prize
Or induced radioactivity
He wants to talk about his brother
The childhood experiments
Electric motors and vibrating toys

His brother died young, a simple operation
All the marble in Italy
Couldn’t slow down a single neutron
So he immersed himself in wood
Water and paraffin wax

We talk about tomatoes,
Books he had read
But I knew how he stood
In the back, with his slide rule
And made a thing that would eat worlds


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