Galvanometer

D'Arsonval/Weston galvanometer movement - with the moving coil shown in orange
D’Arsonval/Weston galvanometer movement – with the moving coil shown in orange

Maria studied and illuminated the witch who was not really a witch at all
supposed feminine contrariness to God a mere mistranslation in time
arc of the circle traversed and slicing myriad secants through the orb
extending out beyond the circumference to meet a static tangential height
and below a point chases a pathway arising from diminishing triangles
forming a predictable curve structured for striking Cartesian expression
Maria articulated it in nautical convention of the rope that turned the sail
Spooling circle’s coiling versiera turned evil in the cycles of time
long after the Poe Valley was departed to take up with the Blue Nuns
so unlike her stunning pagan Alexandrian sister in the art of mathematics
who some say rejected the mystical in favor of numbers and logic
yet she also eschewed carnal desire for its apparent lack of beauty
displaying her bloodied menstrual rags to discourage a student suitor
to send him away transformed into a better man in pursuit of knowledge
a future Virginal icon stripped naked and desecrated by a Christian mob
Peter led the procession that dragged her naked body through the streets
did Maria with the nuns allow the trail’s arc to fade away in worship
old theoretical arc trodden through those diminishing triangles of truth
from Alexandria to Bologna the bewitchment of geometry’s feminine legacy

young boys were much more interested in electrocuting dead frogs
striving to reanimate cells with electric sparks that worked muscles in death
the Poe Valley aglow with Luigi’s discovery of trembling fleshy currents
another Bologna witch cackling at the material world’s invisible forces
but stooge-like they were turned by a stronger appeal to a harder science
in acquiescence to the inventor’s considerable legacy in modern electronics
to construct a remarkable gauge to measure imperceptible electrical currents
sensitive coil entwining a magnet twisting to bring the needle to mark
Coyote’s eyes emptied in a parroted account lacking care and understanding
needle slow and predicable to bore the judges with miniscule fluctuations
Science Fair turned unimpressively wooden with the magicless instrument
all beside the girls who found showmanship in sensitivities of the tongue
discovered on specific spots that registered a range from bitter to sweet
judges inquire and sample and finally laugh and pucker in lemony awe

tiny insects whorled and jumped in and out of the sun’s bright rays
as they angled sharply into the otherwise dark and junk-strewn basement
to be refracted on the table-saw blade as the vital source was easily bent
Tamar released the current through the crudely constructed galvanometer
to watch the needle dance and quiver in perfect measure of electrical flow
she gently manipulated the current to turn out its set rotary deflection
precise changes move through the delineated scale from a limited arc
somehow turned almost beautiful and interesting in her smooth hands
he accepts the copy of the ancient instrument inspired by her desire
but the tenacity of the deliberate current properly exposed soon loses its luster
when she ultimately urges that they depart from the basement’s damp confines
and its simple dark alchemy for rooting out the invisible forces of nature

Tamar ruffled Coyote’s bangs as she so often did to feel his intentions
“Let’s go play on the swings at Stanley Park”
she terminated the current and the needle fell to rest
and they ascended the stairs forsaking Egypt and Italy