In the T-minus weeks before my birthday,

I make frequent speculations on the nature

of Star Trek Barware and whether or not

I’d ever be able to afford such a thing.


I finger the narrowing wormholes in my face.

They are missing their old insignias – infected

alloys hammered into dumbbells, partial rings.

They used to grant me passage into mirror worlds.


I’m hoping to open a Pandora’s box of temporal

paradoxes – Pol Pot and Stalin trampled as infants.

Maybe I’ll hide behind the bushes at my senior prom

and whisper sweet nothings on my younger self’s behalf.


I wish you could still smoke on spaceships.


And I perform little Turing Tests on myself all day

to determine the extent of my artificiality.

There are uncanny new valleys in the space

between the mirror and my face. I bank


on the coming tide of hi-tech developments

in the lancing of tactless tattoos; bionic hairlines;

topical balms for panic attacks; dystopia deterrents.


I fall asleep reading and when I come to,

I’m coasting over Titan in hyperbolic orbit –

fetal, spider-eyed, something like infinity.

This poem is after Tracy K. Smith, and it was originally published in Sequestrum.