Introduction to Time Travel Theory
by Jeannine Hall Gailey
Whether by string or tesseract, we humans interact with time
poorly – always a ghost instance waiting to disintegrate,
a missed opportunity for world peace or saving a parent
behind the scenes. Rips in the continuum, that’s what we’re built for,
to explore our “what if” imaginariums, to wormhole our way
out of problems and ensure the miracle of our own birth,
the end of the war that destroys our planet. Who, what, where – when?
the planet tilts swiftly towards its own dark shadow self,
the universe in which there are no shrimp.
NASA invented and uninvented, Roswell’s mysteries revealed
to be nothing but a future visit from earthlings to bestow
plastic and microwave technology. Flying saucers
nothing but a blurry reflection of our own hope
for an outside influence, for someone in some other future
to reveal the secrets that will spin us back on our proper axis, aliens
wise and benign enough to sleep in secret through their autopsies
while alternate-future-you rides a dragon into a time loop
or carries a samurai sword engraved with an important code
only you will be able to decipher.
can you father the right child, kill the robot sent to doom
the future or program him for good, avoid crushing
that fragile butterfly beneath your inadvertent foot?
who can promise us the unstable and tremulous path to truth,
justice, the American way, an apparatus that allows
a blissful and unknowing populace to, for once, survive?