Making out with Proteus

I've not posted enough this year.

But I did post during NoPoWriMo and one of the poems was There's very much a multiverse - a casual, and probably acausal, dissection of life in a quantum multiverse.

Proteus is the eldest son of Poseidon; called the Old Man of the Sea, he is a shapeshifter.  He could also foretell the future, but hated to do so.  Probably because of the temporal turbulence that causes.  So, to make him do it you had to wrestle him and he would turn into horrible things...

In that poem I committed a sin of a type that used to annoy Douglas Adams so much that he created an improbable sperm whale as a way of getting back at us about it.  e.g. I created a character for the reader to care about, and then discarded them without explanation.

OK, I didn't kill her off, but I did leave her in a quantum superposition of pkissed = 0.5 and ppunched = 0.5.

I subsequently felt a bit bad about her situation.  I thought I should get her out of it.

She turned out bisexual in the process.  There's no social or political meaning behind that, it's just that in her world anybody can become anything, so what can you do...

Anyway, to quote Adams again: This is her tale...

Making out with Proteus

And when our lips meet, his face unfolds
not à la Hellraiser or Resident Evil
but more like topology, mathematical;
an object that, rotating, shows
where I thought it simple, I was wrong...

...it seems we're every one of us a world, cityscape, a throng,
a crowd scene filmed in Technicolor and
just as I think I have absorbed that one
there folds out of the multitude a female face.
So I kiss that too.

I'm taller and she tilts her head,
there's just a touch of breath across my lips,
before they brush on hers.  There is no rush,
but when I pull back, wanting to see her eyes,
she winks

and then her whole body unfolds.
And I half fall, and step, but now I'm walking
through her... him... them... the plurality
ambiguity meaning nothing, in this unplaced untime
and they are still unfolding all around

and I'm walking through their whole world now:
past a booth, where a bakelite telephone is ringing,
through faded dark green curtains onto
a late-night street with distant drunken singing,
towards the only open place: a coffee shop

and as I go I feel the ghosts of kisses,
punches, traffic accidents, hands on zips, caresses
the flash of lust,
or possibly tactical nukes,
the glass in front of me explodes

the world goes dark
and the spinning fragments form a field of stars
so vast and deep and hungry now I know
that this is perfect love for me
a warm heart-shaped infinity, not limited

to any single name, identity or gender,
not always tender, not even always undoomed,
but although infinities can come in different sizes,
my subset of the multiverse is precisely
the same size as the whole.  I can choose,

if I wish, only to live the lives
where I'm with this lover,
and infinity again, is still as large
after this dissection.
It is the working of affection

to compute the intersection
of every possible world where there's a you
with every world where there's a me
and love the result
and if I now take one more step,

I can kiss the stars.