The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, articulated in 1927 by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, states that the position and the velocity of an electron cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time, even in theory. The very concepts of exact position and exact velocity together, in fact, have no meaning in nature.
— from the Encyclopedia Britannica of Science
Because who could cleave to one body
when so many are soluble
to the touch? Place the birdcage by the sill,
erect dead reefs into white dogs,
stun the men warming their hands
in the streets with the deadbolt of the light.
Stage, set. Lurch toward apartment windows,
wink at the acidic skateboards scraping by
without their riders. Nearly crash.
Ever seen a bicycle wheel get punched through?
I have — and all the strings pucker out at the edges,
a mouth tipped with razors in self-defense.
All these backdrops fade flat
without the light of a camera lens. What I mean to say
is the first time your father leaves, you’ll see
Mother sleep in a tub of hot, alkaline milk,
while the overturned urinal and the spokes
of the wheel spin slowly over the sink.
Creep to the doorway and hear her, whale-boned
and whiplashed, tears suckling the corrosive
suds. Help her rise from the pouring steam
and drive to the fields of her youth. The scene will shift:
waxwings, screaming red. Grandmother, where is?
You think you have asked this before.
Here I stumble into frame:
lips twinned to still-developing screen
on downstage, I walk large enough
to crush the buried buds of microphones,
the grass shining sun-white with
poppies that bare their teeth at us.
Is everyone the same type of kind?
The field raises its hackles.
Does your hand feel like a moth when I brush it?
Look. In the distance, a water tower
and a blank road sign.
As furnished and articulate
as a movie set. Lovely, how lovely,
touch your hair here & here &here.
I have heard this somewhere — before
the night markets, the velveteen
palaces, the plastic birds lying bruised
and dozing in cages, before the tickets to America,
before the nights we spent enameling
this reflection in my eye, my mother
danced on a fire escape
limned by black fire, and you
glowed bright with the silhouette of a camera.
What I mean to say is
I wish we could film ourselves
and watch the tape play again &
again & again.