Cosmologists have mapped the origin of our universe
back to 10-33 seconds. For decades they’ve tried
to crack that nut without success. Maybe
that is the smallest amount of time possible.
They’ve named what came before that
(if there could be a before), the Big Bang.
What if our Big Bang
were just one beat of a Big Pulse?
One pulse, a new universe, every 10 to the power of minus 33 seconds.
An infinite number of universes
stretching backward and forward forever.
A universe would exist in which you wrote
this poem, before I did. And one in which
you were one of the editors that rejected it.
A universe would exist in which
I wrote War and Peace, On the Road,
and the Communist Manifesto,
all in the same week.
There would be a universe in which
human beings and peace exist together.
This is definitely not that universe.
An infinite number of universes would exist
in which human beings do not exist at all.
All of those universes would be peaceful.
Ed Werstein, Milwaukee, is the East Region VP of the WFOP. He received the Council of Wisconsin Writers Lorine Niedecker Award in 2019. His poems appears in many journals and anthologies including Blue Collar Review, Stoneboat, Gysoscope Review, and Rosebud.