Monthly Archives: March 2016

Maps

300 miles was a blip.
First, it was west.
Then, it was southeast.
In neither direction did I really
understand the distance.
Our friendly game
of telephone remained —
no matter the change in route
or weather or time,
the reception and your voice
sounded the same to me:
clear, familiar,
just a shout away.
The string between our aluminum cans
was taut, but not uncomfortable enough
for me to notice the tension in the wire.

But the leap to the far-away west —
an actual ton of distance —
the mere thought of it
made my heart skip a beat.
I pictured it:
the string not taut, but snapped;
your voice muffled by static
or gone altogether;
where no shout from a mountaintop
could carry the words
that I was suddenly desperate to say —
“I love you,
and I’m sorry.”

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Multiverse

There is a theory in physics
which states that
everything that is possible happens.

Flip a coin, and it comes up
heads and tails.
If you see heads,
it’s only that you exist
in the heads universe.
But the tails version
of you and of the world
still exist.
They are extensions of you;
they are beyond you.

How many times have I,
in effect, simply flipped a coin?

Like when he asked me, “Do you think
there will ever be a chance for us?”
I exist in heads (“No, I’m sorry”),
but years later,
I swear I can hear tails (a nervous “Yes”),
that metallic ringing quarter
echoing softly behind me.

Or when I chose tails
and the leap-of-faith career,
but still I feel the tug of heads —
the straight-and-narrow choice —
a string pulling gently, invisibly at my spine.

And now, standing in front
of a goddamn vending machine,
I’m frozen by the thought
of how many different versions of myself
are living out the consequences of my choices.

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