Poetry

“Time & Distance” by James Tsuffis.

there is a blank keyboard before me
with each key removed and each button dulled,
a floating mattress beside me that remains
buoyant over water, over sea, over loss—
here in this room so full of empty plates, and grieving minds

i’ve walked down this hall a thousand times,
in different moods, at different speeds—
my mom crying in the kitchen
while on my mattress I tried to draw
a timeline of myself, starting now and going forward;
for each passing second I draw a branch, then an arm,
until every outcome is labeled, then
weighed against each other on a scale made of marble—
and the best are placed within a prism where every choice
at every juncture reflects upon itself; creating, through triangles,
every possible path my life could take

i take the forecast to my weeping mother,
trying to explain probability and it’s haunting nature—
how every pixel is a possibility, every possibility an image
and every image happens
my forward movement taking only a small
fraction of what’s possible,
while a million duplicates of myself
are forever parading forward–

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