Schrödinger's Mouse

by Dana Curtis

There's nothing so small that there isn't something smaller --
a very small cat killed an even smaller mouse
and the box issues physics,
(sell: failed cell: blood) a gaslit house:
everything unseen escapes a still warm body
because the box is open, the experiment is over.

I don't think there was any intention --
put it in a plastic bag and take it to the dumpster --
children cry from the depths.
(Malice: abattoir) scratching in the night --
genetics will out.
(this is the stench
that comes from experiment’s end)
most things are smaller/larger than me.

These flowers smell of almonds and omens --
the party at experiment’s end.
Infants line the buffet and
ghost mice dream of ghost cats --
all those tiny organisms rushing away.
Footprints in the Brie,
cigarettes breeding in the carcass.
Walk in shame -- place
the box inside the box.

The small sun obscured by smaller clouds -- it's all so lovely --
inert in my hand (I think of Algernon.)(Think of light.)
The inevitable --
as the dumpster child looks at death --variety --
nothing can ever be called smallest.

She dances in the summer rain
(bark of tree, bark of shin, bark of dog)
atmospheres -- this tear -- how you
pay heed to the lead lined box?

The measurement of unseen movements




Dana Curtis Dana Curtis’ second full-length collection of poetry, Camera Stellata, is available from CW Books. Her first full-length collection, The Body's Response to Famine, won the Pavement Saw Press Transcontinental Poetry Prize. She has also published six chapbooks: Antiviolet ( Pudding House Press), Pyromythology (Finishing Line Press), Twilight Dogs (Pudding House Press), Incubus/Succubus (West Town Press), Dissolve (Sarasota Poetry Theatre Press), and Swingset Enthralled (Talent House Press). Her work has appeared in such publications as Quarterly West, Indiana Review, Colorado Review, and Prairie Schooner. She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Elixir Press.