On the Difficulty of Staying Grounded and Fed in a Multiverse


I.
I can’t believe: I can’t
float up to the ceiling
or disperse atomically
to become part of the food I will soon ingest.


I can believe I dump salt

   on my plateful, spiteful.

Leftovers have no problem
with bilocation, belief; self-assured,
they will one day learn to fly,
take over the multiverse,

atom by moldy atom.

As true believers say: casserole wills itself

intelligent, eventually.


I can’t just float. Air is not water.
I just can’t

merge with my food

without chewing it.
 

I’m too dispirited to eat.
I guess flying--

       eating--

makes sense. If you like sense.


My salty body puts me back in my chair.
A particular universe
fights with me to lift my fork,

 

does not win.

II.
Where have I been, if not flying?


Flight without wings, without wind-warning
has always seemed plausible,
threatening.


My hearing and sight fly inward,
collapse me gently.


A different universe hands me
a crust of bread, makes me agree to eat
as I crouch on the kitchen tile,
wait for the return of my senses.


III.
If this return is possible,
a housemate wants my birthdate and time for her chart
showing what the stars have determined,
but that’s no fun.


Why not assign
a vegetable to every month and look to vegetables
to determine our fates, our ultimately unpleasant multiversal sensations?


My vegetable sign
could be Asparagus, a real pisser
of an oracle.


I’m bitter because she has invested in multiple meanings.


I will not do the same.


Overteeming meanings would feed me and keep me in a chair.

Amy Poague is an Iowa City-based poet working at a junior high. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Cabinet of Heed, The Mantle, SWWIM Every Day, Really System, Rockvale Review, and Mojave He[art] Review. She is a contributing editor for Barren Magazine.

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