Small rockets crash every day,
at science fairs, in parking lots,
at White Sands Missile Range
where a grad student launches
her own nervous breakdown.
Scientists cry all the time.
They cry in the clean room
and the tears wet their masks,
and they can’t blow their noses
because the surfaces are sterile.
In the lab, when a foolhardy twinge
disturbs the surface of a pipette,
the human ribs ache, heat upsets
the atoms, results erase themselves,
the word “hypothesis” is a hiss.
Truth passes between worlds,
a game of telephone as long
as the dawn, as short as forever.