Poem with Locked Box

By

with a line from Lukas Ray 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.

Adam Gianforcaro