Black Holes & Birthday Cakes by Bonnie Carasso

In 2009, Steinhauer briefly created a black hole analog out of  a Bose-Einstein condensate made of 100,000 chilled rubidium atoms.”

~ Quoted in Nature

One has to wonder, what does one get

the physicist—who spends his life locked in a lab

cooking up analogs of Bose-Einstein condensates

out of chilled rubidium atoms to simulate the event

horizon of a black hole—for his birthday?

Perhaps another amusing tee-shirt or wacky unicorn tie

might sufficiently express his loved one’s devotion.

Less so, one supposes, the magic re-lighting candles

sizzling on the Periodic Table sheet cake, serving

as a devil’s food analog for all the discoveries

vaporized in the time it takes for the paraffin

in the twisted wicks to re-ignite the flames

he must dutifully wish upon and blow out,

and blow out,

and blow out,