The ‘plum pudding’ model having failed us,
in 1909, Geiger and Marsden
launched positive particles into thin
gold leaf to navigate atomic space,

revealed nuclei as planets circled
by electron moons. Only one in eight
thousand of their ions bounced back, the state
of matter revealing itself devoid

of the solid we feel and think we see—
ourselves, organic planetary systems
in ceaseless revolution, bound

together by unknowable gravities.
And still we wonder why impassioned hymns
fall on deaf ears, and all slips through our hands.