Size / / /

When the laws of physics

have nailed and sealed

the universe complete,

down to the last stray

molecule and rebel atom,

when even the quarks

Charm and Strange rise

to a balanced breakfast,

ontological questions

will become passe.

When the Unified Field

Theory is lucid fact,

not wistful speculation,

there will no longer

be the barest chance

of turning baser metals

to golden illumination,

and metaphysics will

be reduced to no more

than a bedtime game.

When the final truth has

been signed and delivered,

the last alchemist will

retreat to a birdsong wood

where green still thrives,

near a rushing stream

clean as a burning flame,

clear as a lover's glance

he has long since fathomed

in his deepest sublimations.

Bruce Boston is the author of forty-seven books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read more about him at and see some of his previous work in our archives.
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