December 15, 2012 by The Citron Review
by Michael Sukach
“I can’t reach my penny,” she said, now as far from shore as her dress would allow.
Raising his arms above her head, he locked his thumbs to transform his hands into the shape of a bird and pretended to descend the creature in a playful, but precisely isometric undulation of spread fingers into the lake.
“Well, that’s because the refractive index of water changes the phase velocity of light as it travels from air, to the surface, and beneath.”
Puzzled by the words, he thought, how easy she seemed to consign herself to scrutinizing the hypnotic declination of the bird, absorbed and refracted by the literality of the lake.
“You see how the light propagates from one optical medium to another,” he said.
“We are changing the wavelength and frequency of its life.”
He calculated the independent-sweep second hand of his Seiko Kinetic chronograph magnified as it was in such a depth of water. He marveled at the synchrony of its operation, perfectly adjusted to the rate of chromatic degradation in the lake.
“That’s called dispersion,” he said as he continued to demonstrate his equation below the excited surface. “Such beautiful aberrations of color.”
He removed the penny for her. It wasn’t as far down as she imagined.
Mike Sukach’s fiction and poetry is forthcoming in the 2012/3 Winter editions of Ontologica, theNewerYork, Cellpoems, and Medusa’s Kitchen. His poetry has appeared in The Blast Furnace and he was recently selected as a finalist in the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review’s 2012 poetry competition. His poetry is also anthologized in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, published by Southeast Missouri State University Press.