Behind him in the night-house, his family sleeps,
their tidy brick address, a kind of riddle
in the dark, a Schrödinger’s box that holds
a blessing or disaster in its depths.
He knows he only needs to step inside,
to touch their well-loved faces once, and all
the possible tomorrows would fall away,
that endless vista gone, replaced with one
fixed path through space and time. Instead, he turns
to watch the streetlight filter through the blooms
of crepe myrtle in the yard, their papery leaves
a whisper in the breeze. The crickets chirr
a summer song, and in the oak’s dark boughs,
cicadas shriek. He’s reassured by all
these tiny facts, the thingness of a world
too often set adrift on seas of chance.
He glances at the house. The image blurs
like a double exposure, the ghosts
of all those futures stacked and waiting there
for him to choose, their dim penumbras bound
by doubt and fear, by undecided blues.
Rob Griffith’s latest book is The Devil in the Milk (Kelsay Books, 2017), and his previous book, The Moon from Every Window (David Robert Books, 2011), was nominated for the 2013 Poets’ Prize. His first book, A Matinee in Plato’s Cave, was the winner of the 2009 Best Book of Indiana Award. His work has appeared in PN Review, Poetry, The North American Review, Poems & Plays, The Oxford American, and many others. He is the editor of the journal Measure and is chair of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Evansville, Indiana.
Editor’s Notes: Quantum entanglement is that no matter how large the separation between two particles, they are inextricably linked together and are able to share information with each other instantaneously. NASA/JPL-Caltech combined this theory to study the “love” between entangled particles with technology to improve deep-space communications. The complementing image is metaphorical and is possibly extended by the poet hinting of the entanglement of two hearts even through time. See the webpages below for more information: