An angel walks into a bar and Baudelaire is there to capture him
but only in a game where they balance Get Well Soon balloons
on fingertips and all good things come to happy ends.
Tuesday Tuesday Tomasella, there to protect the timeline,
pops the balloon and pops the Frenchman to the Paris in the sky
because happy ends are hollow if they have to be contrived,
she thinks. Or hopes. And lately wonders if her spirit of justice
has become a god of vengeance or some kind of Nicky Bostrom,
in charge of the simulation presently and presciently for now,
if now is the only possible outcome. How to allow for novelty
in a closed system. She should write a handbook. She’s so busy.
Her mother leaves a message: will the time traveler be home
for Christmas? Tuesday flicks an angel from her shoulder. I’ll be there
in spirit. By which she means interdimensionally projected hologram.
Sarah Terry is a recent graduate of the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire. She also works as an educator at the Children’s Museum of NH, where she has become an expert in bubble crafting, fort building and fish printing, among other things. She has previously had poems published in Popcorn Press’s Cthulhu Haiku, Strange Horizons, Star*Line, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. Her website is www.sarahterry.com. She says:
First and foremost, I really did spend an evening with friends where we attempted to see which of us could balance one of those stiff floral-arrangement-type balloons on our finger for the longest time. Unfortunately, Baudelaire did not show up. The real impetus for this poem, though, came from the desire to create a character study in sonnet form (or at least length). I’m obsessed with the sonnet’s ability to contain so much in such a small space, and I figured few characters would have a wider range of experiences than a time traveler at the edge of an existential crisis.