The New Buoyancy

Stephen Morrow

I didn’t ask to be born, but I would have.
Fact. Don’t get mixed in with the pessimist
nuts. Listen for the second half of the story.
I am full of black holes could mean I am full
of dense matter, of what matters, to the brim.
And who doesn’t love an old sentimental hat?
I am not the fool of the world, dummy,
but full of the world. Were you listening?
Someone with fingers can’t just sit there on
the edge of the bed, sulking, without picking up
something very soon. Will it be me or you?
Start listening sans the hammer and drums.
The teacher said “Turns into a butterfly,” not
a fly in butter. All my life I have been flapping
my silly little wings, trying to get picked out.
Now I know that’s not the secret, and now
I’d like to be more than just some speck.
Enter my hypothetical son born with a heart
defect where I have a congenital heart deflect.
His valves keep opening up to all sorts of friends
and optimism. The kid has reservoirs in there,
but dams do sometimes collapse spectacularly.
See how easily my new buoyancy crumbles?
It depends on the day and an old wheelbarrow.
Can I move sufficient water to keep myself afloat?
The answer is never. The answer is scary enough
on its own. I used to go bonkers thinking of
all the ghosts not living in our historical home.
Do they dislike us or do they just not exist?
All my life I have been haunting the wrong people—
the ones who don’t believe in me. Not fully.
Right now it’s a black hole, but let’s wait a bit more.
It will collapse and leave behind a dense residual core,
and after the explosion, we will find the real house
beneath the rubble. It’s not exactly bigger, yet
essentially it is. The place is full of ghosts
who believe in us, so we believe in them.

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