Quantum

bythenry©

Sitting in a bar in
the city. In a suit no less.
Momma always says

if you have one suit
make it blue and nice enough
for a wedding. And he was

reading. In a bar. Sipping
whiskey and soda. There's
nothing else to do at four

and afternoon, an intersection
with a bar on the corner.
Even at rest the muscles

are stretched in his fingers
wrapped around the glass.
And that's the way it was,

except he is me staring off
and down the street
to his evening's rhythm.

Beats, rhythm, and complexity.
Absolutivity. Each beat separate,
periodic. Time quantized.

Staring off, the face
looks like someone else.
Like something is missing.

Quantum theory sees
the observer alter
the experiment simply

by observing. Information,
if knowable, changes
the nature of the process.

Or the face, whether attention
is paid, absent, head nodding
to the beat, funeral procession

walking up the street to
this morning where the sun rose.
It sets at the other end, asleep

or dead, but not really
watching. Just sitting in a bar.
I woke up one day and the world

was the same, even though
I hadn't been watching overnight.
Or maybe I had been and forgot.

Each day begins this way
except my next one. When I woke
he was gone. I promised

to watch and forgot, slept through
when his heart monitors stopped.
They kept a rhythm and then

dropped it, head nodding.
Go with God, I want to say.
I saw his face today, or

a face just in the way
that it was cream marble
and missing something

outside and under
the features. Almost
my features. Even at rest

his muscles are stretched
taut, fingers unable to move,
he drowned in the fluid

that drained to his lungs.
Death by old age is what
this was called, back before

anyone observed to find
what goes wrong. Death
by old age is fresh picked

mint, goes well with sweet
strong whiskey soda. My head
nodding, I drowse at the bar.

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