299 words, Poetry
Content Warnings: Death, implied drowning
"The Uncertainty Principle" by A. Laraque-Ho | 299 words | Poetry | Content Warnings: Death, implied drowning
I stand with one foot in the grave
and hold a wishbone up to my face
like a telephone. Tell me there's elasticity
(I keep praying). Gravity, as a law,
is always choking me. Please grow teeth
so you can tell me that this isn't it.
The worms writhing around my feet shit
out of all ends; they don't care
about endings. Tell me in a way that makes
sense to me. Then tell me again. How do I see it,
the luck, the archer, my arch unfunny
crypt? I lay down in the grave; I hold hands
with Ophelia. Teach me how to breathe river
water (I beg her). Everything she says
comes out bubbles. I purse my mouth
like hers and she pokes my cheek hard
to drive all the air out. No bubbles.
Can you hear me (I ask)?
Do you have swimmer's ear? Do you want
to go swimming? Swim out the cemetery
with me, Ophelia. Leap out of your casket
like a jack-in-the-box; shriek
and get to laughing. It almost
makes you look alive.
I used to know people who looked
like they were alive, and now I want
to know: When you knock on my door,
is it a return? Is redemption real? Is Jerusalem
real? It goes okay, not okay, okay, not okay, day
by day love losing elasticity. It stretches
with my trespasses and bounces back a little
less every time. I wonder on the other line
where your mercy function went, and if there
is anything of the forgiving element left. Ophelia
for your next breakthrough in quantum physics,
prove elasticity. Bounce something back. Bounce
anything back. Say: Spinelli. Say:
Spaghetti. Say: Heaven exists
and it is good. I want to hear infinity
reeling endlessly in a rubber band ball.
A. Laraque-Ho is a Haitian-Chinese-American writer, editor, critical race theorist, and workplace comedy satirist concerned with the relationships between art, power, and possibility in the revolutionary imagination. They arrive in multiples. They find it hard not to be a litany of things.
Since graduating from Hampshire College with a degree in Creative Writing and Critical Race and Gender Studies, they have been spotted moonlighting as an actor, teacher, and urban cartographer. They currently reside in their hometown of New York with their legendary hound Shoelace and their infamous Animorphs collection. This is their first publication.