Senseless Superpowers Vol. 8

Look what I can do
with my oddly specific
and totally useless superpower –
I can leap backwards in time!
But there’s a catch,
I can only travel to those precise
and precarious moments
just before some poor soul
meets their maker.

Okay, so first, I’d jump back to the
ripe year of 1682
to lean my head against the
long and wrinkled ear of
Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de Galilei
as he takes his final
labored breaths.
I’d revel the exaltation –
just feel the energy of his
body radiating with bliss
as I whisper the new fundamentals of physics,
a special theory of relativity,
(in fluent Latin of course)
and watch
as he leaves his body behind in the Tuscan countryside satisfied,
knowing the astronomical
movement
he risked his life to
set in motion.

Then, I might take another trip,
a shorter one,
round the corner to 1974
into the leafy town
of Warwickshire
where I’d discover
the pale, pithless body
of Nicolas Rodney Drake
on the bed of a wallpapered
bedroom in his tired parent’s home –
his belly ballooning with
Tryptizol.
Nick, you will knock us sideways, old chum,
sure, you’re dying alone now,
mind fractured like
a shotgun through a windscreen,
but your songs will sing on.

Or maybe I’d hop
a little closer now,
to the breezy summer of 2018,
and a sunny apartment block
in San Diego
where my father
Allon Isaac Segal
slumps
sideways
over the edge of his bed,
gripped by the silent spasm
of a shuddering
cardiac event –
my mother on the
phone with 911,
the air on fire with her piercing panic –
and here I come
to save the day.

I’d swoop in and gently
wrap my arms
around his broad shoulders
and softly
and clearly
and firmly
and finally
whisper:
I forgive you.