From the Ninth Brane by John C. Mannone

From the Ninth Brane
John C. Mannone

           Branes: a generalized cosmological theory
           attempting to replace all matter and particles
           that carry force with tiny vibrating strings
           in hopes of unifying all the forces of nature.


Before the hot spot of a big bang
when the universe blew up
like an overinflated balloon
(of space-time stretched over
an imaginary center),
the energetic air of which all
uncertainties must have confused
the physics or maybe some scientists
                                   into thinking
that there are a myriad of universes
bumping into each other without
their ever knowing…
until now in a men’s bathroom
of an automotive repair place.


I look past equations through
a thick warped-glass window, broken
into eight panes, eight simultaneous
multiverses visible from my brane.


In the first, two gray aliens, intimate
in their touch, make love; a single
red rose in the lower corner
of their happiness. But in the second,
the rose morphs into screams;
in the background, someone is laughing,
but only for a moment.


In the third world, a blue-eyed
detective examines the pattern
of blood splatter on the glass, yet
in the fourth, there is no crime,
no blood of passion, just a blush
on curious creatures. In the fifth,
where’s everyone? (The far left
on the bottom.) A thinning row
of apartments on a hill overlook
construction of a golf course with
more sand traps than green turf.
Will the middle-class couple
become homeless in the next year?


Seems they are the landlords
in universes six through eight.
Demolition of housing in the seventh—
a bloody mess. No one is doing anything
about it, the world remains distorted
in the far right pane, the golf course
commandeered and, after spending
millions, they turned it into a monster
truck track, sand traps yucking to mud
in the heavy rains from global warming.
In this universe, climate doesn’t change,
fantasy is physics, and everyone is reading
the New York Times best seller
                        Branes for Idiots.



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