The Day After

I may have opened a can of wormholes
when yesterday I texted my next self,
for when I woke this morning, someone
had messaged me from what was surely
a different timezone. She (he?) had learned
I was all about our helping each other out,
was the gist of it, so I to her (him?),
You’re not? Then she (he?) to me, Oh yes.
I’m you, but before.

How magical. I’ve so many questions,
I tapped. So it would seem, she (he?) shot
back, and though usually down for a little
irony, I have to admit it smarted a little.
No, I told myself. Open your heart. Don’t
be afraid, so across some stretch of ages
I to her (him?), I’ll take that feedback.
Now, what do you see? What am I missing?
What can you tell me that I might use?

There was a long delay then, more than
a few minutes, and frankly my imagination
ran wild with the historical possibilities.
Vesuvius and Pompei perhaps, Vichy and
a knock at the door, Ghana and the slave
trader’s truncheon. Are you o.k.? I finally
asked. Yeah. Fine. I had to take a piss, she (he?),
probably he, answered, then, Listen, I don’t
have a lot of time for this. I just want to say

you kind of blew it, and I was really hoping
you wouldn’t. Better luck next time.
Then
nothing, and I felt so very alone, a forgotten
prisoner on a dead moon in an unmapped
star system without mail delivery. What
could I do but delete the conversation, turn
up the heat against today’s winter, and take
my coffee. Through the window I watched
a crow light on the blistering snow.


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