A universe exactly like ours
except that when you put your face
to the autorefractor you don’t see
a farmhouse at the end of a country
lane, you see your mother.
You can put your glasses
back on, the optometrist says.
Everything else is the same:
on the other side
of the plate glass doors
half the mall is vacant.
When you were small
your mother brought you to appointments
along with borrowed mysteries.
She would skip to the end
then go back to relish the story
subtracted of all tension. Meanwhile
I was trying to tell the difference
between O and C, one a world
already cracked open
the other still riotous with life.
Chris Santiago reads “Many Worlds”
Chris Santiago is the author of Tula (Milkweed Editions), a Kundiman & McKnight Fellow, and Poetry Mentor for The Loft’s 2021-2022 Mentor Series. He is Associate Professor of English at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.