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Agnes Vojta

Fall and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

It is the season of apples, crisp and tart. I transform them into crumbles, pies, and    comfort. They soften, lose their texture, sink into sugary union with the flour.

September lifts the hazy skies of Missouri summer. Contours become clearer. The woods fill with yellow wildflowers; the species are easy to confuse. Does it matter for a poem whether this is  an ashy sunflower or a tickseed coreopsis?

Confusion is easier than clarity. The second law of thermodynamics requires natureto fall from
order into disorder. Atomic arrangements disintegrate. Ink dropped into a glass of water
disperses, forms a cloud, spreads until the liquid is pale blue. Bubbles burst, unable to sustain surface tension. Organisms die.

Autumn is the season of disordering. Of decay. Leaves fall; highly organized matter turns to soil.
Returns to soil. Death is but an increase in entropy. If you look at it like that, there is nothing to fear.

Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and now lives in Rolla, Missouri where she teaches physics at Missouri S&T and hikes the Ozarks. She is the author of Porous Land (Spartan Press, 2019) and The Eden of Perhaps (Spartan Press, 2020), and her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines. Her website is agnesvojta.com, and her facebook page is @AgnesVojtaPoetry.



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