6.023 x 10 to the 23rd

Molecules we packed in the accordion:

The vicissitudes of life,

food for the necessities of breath, air compressed

into small pellets, phony compositions

by a drunken musician. Subsequently

they were shot from the horn of a bagpipe.

Listen! We are as incidental as vibration,

negligible photons in an age which accelerates continuously,

ready to split atoms

join a chain gang

start something irreversible.

In a moment we shall conjure rockets

which rise multicolored like Holland imported tulips

until they explode in the stratosphere.

Thus we expand to fill containers

and shed cataracts of intellectuality and emotion.

One should not be contemptuous.

It is our singular fear of a chaotic existence

which causes us to react in this manner.

We are the human equivalent of Avogadro’s number.