the multiverse at 36,000 feet
BY VERONICA KUHN
In one, ashes fill the engine’s bursting lungs.
In another, a skein of geese clouds the cockpit.
The tonic water trembles in its plastic cup,
or lightning strikes, and a child won’t stop
howling. “Look out the window,”
the mother coos. Most emptiness is blue
and open. I gain some awareness
of my own ribcage, empty, tightly webbed
with tendons. Each body flickers. First
is an egg poised on the edge of a bowl,
then carbon is arranged in a diamond.
I read this thriller, say, the newlyweds die
in an air crash over Phuket, but in the end
both step out of the plane like a trick, fully whole.
There is a universe where each person is calming
the snarl of a tiger by reaching past its tiger-teeth
to study the gape of its tiger-throat.