On an afternoon
On a breezy summer afternoon
two universes, once far apart,
approached each other
and drawn by forces
not easily understood,
and created the beginnings
of a universe
with different rules and circumstances
than the previous two.
Dense and hot,
close and furious,
with energy beyond any expectation
this new universe started,
establishing first an identity
and then a history.
Heat gave way to growth
and sometimes we gave way to each other.
Attraction resulted in collisions
and each left their own marks on the other.
I once knew another universe
but not so long ago.
Now there is only this one
with its own rules
and strange little quarks.
I once grew in another universe
with not such clear boundaries.
It was less predictable
and less complicated
without any out-of-equilibrium decay scenarios
or unexpected violations of time inversion symmetry.
gave us the nursery:
each star more important
than the universe itself
but adding to and altering its very fabric.
Yet, how could I not notice
that each star had its very own universe
and paid little attention to the grander scheme.
Envious, I was, like the biker who sold his Harley
and had to watch it be driven off the lot.
This universe gave us grandchildren:
each one more precious than any law of physics.
Yet, how could I not note that this
was the measurement of time.
I cannot escape this universe,
I cannot go back to the one I had.
I do not know the difference between you and I
or the underlying nature of this universe itself.
I do not know where your universe went
or what part it played in the one we share.
I cannot see how this universe ends
or if it still depends on you and I.
On a breathtaking, brilliant summer afternoon
two independent universes, each with its own part,
appropriated each other
and created new forces
not easily withstood,
and then guided the beginnings
of a universe
with different composition and consequences
than the previously predominate two.
— Zumwalt (2011)