Poem with Locked Box
with a line from luna rey hall
I have read the news differently ever since:
the names, the numbers. Nothing
exists now that isn’t a reminder of trauma.
Even the term for this is trigger.
I pick up the phone. Such few times
I’ve heard my father’s voice like this.
And the word he uses: shot. So mundane
until it’s married to someone you love.
The flash I saw, the blinding white-
silver of shock, as if it presented a portal,
a wink from the multiverse, in which
everything is covered by the veil of what if.
The first recorded use of a gun
was in 1364, a leap year. Leap to
any future date and find a record
of sorrow in every second since.
Long before the gun, Ancient Greeks
theorized infinite worlds. Sometime later,
Schrödinger appears. From there,
we step back about a century—
there is no good news here, except
that metaphysics doesn’t speak
in amendments. Which is to say—
or rather, which is to theorize
an alternate reality. One in which
my brother isn’t bleach splattered
under x-ray, one in which his friends
survive. A place in which I can freely pop
my bubblegum without transporting
my father-in-law back to the battlefield.
In this heaven, there is no word for bullet.
But who can possibly believe in heaven
when Schrödinger points his gun
at every locked box he sees?
And to think these are our success stories:
the invention of violence
our people’s greatest innovation.