Reaching the Speed of Light

Nobody knows Albert Einstein was proven wrong in 1989,
when three scientists reached the speed of light
on an amusement park ride they had designed
for Six Flags Great America in Chicago, Illinois.

The Superman ride they were developing
to fly guests around a rotating, one hundred foot globe,
using magnets to suspend them in mid-air
and accelerate to approximate superhero speeds,

malfunctioned the first time it was turned on,
sending the Superman-shaped cart, with arms outstretched,
around the miniature, artificial world they’d built
in time with the blink of their eyes in reverse.

Once it opened, under blazing banners of blue and red,
crowds of thrill seeking, excitement fuelled tourists
lined up along pathways through shimmering Kryptonian landscapes
to climb, four at a time, onto the Caped Crusader’s back.

As a dramatic scene played out Lois Lane’s death
the ride would be heard, resonating like a subwoofer,
building the power for Superman to reverse time and save her,
voices shouted ‘It’s a bird!’ ‘It’s a plane!’ ‘It’s –

Then light would bend, as through curved glass,
distorting the world into a spiral, twisting into black.
Walking away, all assumed they’d closed their eyes,
for nobody could ever remember any details of their ride.

Six months later it was unceremoniously torn apart,
sold and shipped to be hidden in the archives of the Vatican.
Nobody believed the scientists had bent space-time,
not with a superhero amusement park ride, not at Six Flags.

The End

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