Helen Heath

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Making tea in the universe

Have a look in the pantry.
you’ll need to gather up everything
there is, every particle
of matter between you and me and the
edge of creation. Now squeeze it
into a dot so infinitesimally
compact that it has no
There is no apron to stand behind.
There is no space, no darkness
for this pregnant dot to wait in.
There is no past for it
to emerge from, no egg timer.
The tea leaves are in the pot,
put the kettle on, light the gas.
In the first second
the dot has space.
Magnets fall from the fridge
as you get the milk out.
In the first minute your universe
is a million billion miles across
and growing fast.
There are 10 billion degrees of heat.
The kettle is boiling by the third
minute and 98 per cent
of all the matter that is
or ever will be has been
created. Pour the tea to brew
while you wait
for life on earth.

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