Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Schrodinger's Mirror

You can let all kinds of chaos into your future
by opening a bag and letting out the wrong cat--
and once the milk's out of the glass
you cannot pour it back, that's certain.
On page eighty, things look
bad for our hero-- he's been framed

but having read the book, we know the frame
won't hold. A happy ending's in his future
no matter how bleak the present outlook.
He'll be rescued by a talking cat
or some other helper, and certainly
he'll be the one to find the magic glass.

Oh yes, the magic mirror, glass
silvered and resting safe in its frame
knows a great deal (though it's not certain)
about the coming pages, which are the future
of our hero and his troublesome cat,
though they can't see it when they look.

Perspective. Every time a reader looks,
turns back a page, sand rises in the hourglass
fur grows backward on the hapless cat,
the hero is stuffed back into his frame.
Turn the pages forward: the future
rushes our characters along toward certainty.

Wouldn't all of us like to be certain?
You can have it for just the price of a look
into a mirror that claims to tell the future--
some gypsy's fortune-telling glass--
if you're willing to be trapped in its frame
alongside of an unquick, undead cat.

It's said, if you know the position of a cat
that its velocity must remain uncertain.
A moment in time is like a single frame
from a movie, frozen when you looked
trapped on the silver-plated glass
separated from both history and future.

Don't look. Just break the glass
and let Schrodinger's cat out of the frame.
Free your future of certainty.

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