I love it when a poem catches me completely by surprise, and this piece by Mark Kraushaar made me grin and read it again three times in a row. Partially because I love his off-kilter, mundane take on the concept of a parallel universe, but mostly because of that sweet turn at the end.
Recent Cosmological Observations
by Mark Kraushaar
One of the many implications of recent cosmological observations is that the concept of parallel universes is no mere metaphor. Space appears to be infinite in size.
So, there's a sun like ours and a moon like ours
and a duplicate Earth with a town like this
and a street like this on a day like this
and there's a man exactly like me--
same wire glasses, same scratched thumb
and dumb job, different shirt--
a man just like me who walks
past a Frank's Corner Deli, u-turns,
walks in and orders a corned beef
on rye, double the mustard, no mayonnaise.
Outside, an equivalent Checker Cab
pulls up and a similar lady in a backward
cap gets out at a similar curb:
squashed Mars Bar, discarded sock, strutting pigeon
and all this under a wide, white sky with a glittering jet
and a crow below.
Of course, likewise, there's a smudged
glass counter and, in her crisp paper cap,
there's a girl whose tiny, terrible teeth also seem
tossed into her mouth like so many dice,
and just as I'm wishing this world's version
better, straighter teeth and love and long life too,
as I'm thinking how God on the Earth we know
seems absent or careless or cruel,
as an almost equivalent, nearly
identical God some place lolls dozing
in His giant cloud lounger, here, today,
three flies resettle on a split plastic spoon,
and as this Earth's girl scoops the last of the tuna
from a stainless tray she looks up and winks once
like we're perfectly grand.