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Sport 43: 2015

Max L. Chapnick — Nucleators

page 248

Max L. Chapnick


in which a young poet’s mother helps design a spaceship

When the Committee built
     the spaceship they thought to build
         a room for snow. They dreamed of carrying

one box-like space of shiny
     to the blackness, the scrape of ice-
         crystals, the white taste, a frozen retreat

of melt-in-your-mouth. My
     mom explained, within each
         flake lives a bacterium. Prisms

of water do not spontaneously
     emerge. Maybe snow never
         existed, in forms like this,

before microorganisms.
     So she told them bring
         me a bucket of invisible

snow builders
     and I will build you
         a loom for chemistry-

conjured ice.
     I peer out
         at manufactured

page 249

molecules locked
     in place, white proof
         of life staring back,

creatures shuttling
     icy space-
         ships, falling
                 into new homes.