Rosebud Ben-Oni

It Is My Impish Era

of errata, yes, many, as I stormed the auditorium to propose, “the electron, the eldest of all

leprechauns—”                 when I meant leptons & you know what

I was thinking, physics

people, or no,

not really, because you laughed & said, good

one, thinking premeditated, poetic, pun, uniting

us all in the spirit of The Standard

Model, always not exactly anyone’s

pot of gold, shaky & more sheer

luck, laxing, lacking, patchy, paradox, & there I was

with my leptachauns,

when metaphor must be used in science impeccably, 

speaking nothing of the slog

of how great theories come

together— like

us— so impishly, immobilizing, impasse, to get at

anything, when I was trying to move on, quickly, to how thrilling 

was the discovery of the bottom


also called the beauty,

depending on your flavor— {oh, quip goes

the quark}— no, I was trying to say,

about having that Fresh New Particle

Game, what if through reasonable 

error— that is, just an iota of precision

in prediction

tied to the whole nine yards

of a 27-kilometer accelerator ring—

that is, we shoot for actual experiments

& not simply the wanting 

to find a new solitary

fairy in all that muck—         tell me it’s not

sheer mischief, how we fiend for that fifth

fundamental force that will finally,

allegedly, remodel the rainbow

with just a modicum of decay—

what I meant to say, the end

        of such rainbows might be the nit-

picking, the doubt, the delay

but have faith, there’s always

our dear Higgs

who leaps even this, the unknown as the living

beyond their meta-



cobbling so much


from gravestone, gravitas

& grief.

Rosebud Ben-Oni is the author of several collections of poetry, including If This Is the Age We End Discovery (March 2021), which won the Alice James Award and was a Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She has received fellowships and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, City Artists Corps, Café Royal Cultural Foundation, CantoMundo and Queens Council on the Arts. Her work appears in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets’ Tin House, Guernica, Electric Literature, among others. Her poem "Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark" was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC. In May 2022, Paramount commissioned her video essay “My Judaism is a Wild Unplace" for a campaign for Jewish Heritage Month, which appeared on Paramount Network, MTV Networks, The Smithsonian Channel, VH1 and many others. In 2023, she received a Café Royal Cultural Foundation grant to write The Atomic Sonnets, a full-length poetry collection based on her chapbook 20 Atomic Sonnets (Black Warrior Review, 2020), which she began in honor of the Periodic Table’s 150th Birthday in 2019. In January 2023, she performed at Carnegie Hall on International Holocaust Memorial Day, as part “We Are Here: Songs From The Holocaust.”