Theory of the Walking Big Bang
Big bang—from a distance, of course,
it looks like the big
bang, but get closer
and it’s geological time, years—
millions of big bangs—
universes in each step you take,
the rock you displace,
the car that stops to avoid you,
the body you left behind—
all sprouting in a firework explosion of directions
ash landing everywhere, haphazard—
the feet of regret, that pale-faced pony.
Looking back—always a mistake to look back,
you know it’s true—but to look back,
everything is crisp—the snap in the air,
the color contrasts of leaves,
the inner lip of a kiss—
but in that moment, up close,
it was a matrix of angles, bursting coordinates
tilting on the second hand—
for all you know now, really, it didn’t happen at all.
Or, it happened three feet to the left and ten years ago.
Or, tomorrow morning in the spider web sun rays through the blinds.
Or, never at all.
The small homes, stucco molars,
rise from the Burbank streets
in the purple gut of dusk.
In a noodle house off the main drag,
you sit, twirling udon
in a third-generation beige bowl.
The sound from tables melts
into a hum, low buzz of a fat bee
to harmonize with the neon.
You can see behind the counter,
where an infant runs in circles
until ramming his head into the wall.
Swallowing hot broth, the thought:
we do not become more enlightened
with each life at all.
Instead, we begin fearless,
internally like a slow-dissolving roman candle,
and with each repeating life …
The front window is painted slippery black,
or night has come to the streets,
your bones turning to glass tubes of light.