Photo credit: Roman Mager. Source: Unsplash.

i.

origin of F

F/A = Stress

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In this poem & in your life,

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the letter F is everything—

F for the force that brews inside a clenched fist

 

lowercase f for frequency:

the number of times that fist remodels your jaw

 

Today my head is buried

between the algebraic union in the dog-eared pages

of New School Physics

 

Young Modulus claims that

Stress is F/A—where A is area:

the household that Force lords over, the household

where people read their vows backwards.

Stress has a name, a unit

 

ii.

e/l = Strain

where l is the length you are willing

to be extended—

before you y i e l d & b/r/e/a/k

 

In this experiment of a poem, you are

only an apparatus

 

In this poem, Strain is your name

In the Physics textbook, Strain has no unit

 

a doctor takes one look at the x-ray film

& asks why your bones

hold so many stories—

your lips stretch into a thin smile

 

iii.

a back-story

 

Before Young Modulus

Hooke stated that all things return to their original

state

as long as elastic limit is not exceeded

In this poem, life is elastic

 

the first time

your eyes go pregnant with blood,

the first time

you taste the salt from your broken lips,

the first time your face bears fingerprints,

 

you are a cub that still knows the way home

so you flee, but you are returned to the original

state;

Mommy says you must learn to expand & accommodate

this Force

 

iv.

Unit of Force is Newton,

pronounced as new-thing

 

but Mommy says this force is no new thing

she shows you where she buried her own

stories on her body. War memorabilia.

she wears them proudly

 

In this poem, marriage is war.

In this poem, everybody is a physicist

 

Even the Police know some Physics

they tell you that friction must exist between two

bodies in contact

then they provide solution:

“okro soup is good lubricant, work on your

culinary skills”

 

v.

elastic bodies become plastic when they are stretched

beyond limit, the day the force stretches

life out of your neck

 

we learn that plasticity is rigor mortis

we hear the Force argue that it was under

the influence of other forces

1. alcohol

2. devil

we resolve forces

2F – F

surely two forces are greater than one

 

vi.

K = F/e

where k is Force Constant

 

In this poem, everything begins & ends

with force

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abdulbaseet Yusuff is a Nigerian writer who writes short stories and experiments with poems. Some of his works have been published on Praxis Magazine Online, Tuck Magazine, Kalahari Review, Echelon Review, Prachya Review, Eboquills and elsewhere. When he is bored, he watches video clips of Leo Messi and Donnie Yen.