Crossword Puzzles, the Infinite Library, and the Importance of Defining Order

Megan Szalay

My sister is solving crossword puzzles in the kitchen,
A yellow highlighter in hand and a green one beside her.
I make one for her with grid paper and English.
It begins with words and I fill in the rest with scraps,
Letters poured around words like sand poured into a box of golf balls.

Consider the Infinite Library:
“A building containing every possible combination of letters and lexical symbols.”
This means mostly gibberish and sometimes Joyce.
This means the very words before your eyes.
The Infinite Library.

We are in the Infinite Library.
Expect instead of playing with letters
The Universe wrote its books in atoms.

It goes like this:
An infinite combination of letters and symbols eventually results in Shakespeare.
An infinite combination of carbon structures eventually results in Shakespeare.

There isn’t any objective order, it's all random,
It’s all finding your birthday in the digits of pi.
It’s all just entropy, all just chaos.
Order only exists because we do.

The Universe did not begin because
It does not have a concept for creation.
The Universe will not end because
It does not care about creating a story for us.
A story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The Universe is a crossword puzzle in a language we don’t speak
And my sister is sitting downstairs at the kitchen table,
Yellow highlighter in hand, green highlighter beside her.
Everyone everywhere is sitting at a kitchen table
Calculating pi one digit further at a time.

Looking for birthdays in the relationship
Between radius and circumference.
A birthday as irrational as the number.
A number as irrational as they get.
No chaos and no order.

Only what we choose to highlight.
A story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The Universe is a crossword puzzle in a language we don’t speak
And my sister is sitting downstairs at the kitchen table,
Yellow highlighter in hand, green highlighter beside her.
Everyone everywhere is sitting at a kitchen table
Calculating pi one digit further at a time.

Looking for birthdays in the relationship
Between radius and circumference.
A birthday as irrational as the number.
A number as irrational as they get.

No chaos and no order.