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23 April 2016updated 28 Jul 2021 6:23am

“Schrödinger’s Cab”: a poem by Steve Kronen

“You won’t be sure of its arrival / until it rolls up to your curb”

By Steve Kronen

*/

They did not dare take a taxi to the station for fear their
departure might be reported to the authorities.
               Schrödinger: Life and Thought by Walter J Moore

You won’t be sure of its arrival
until it rolls up to your curb.
Wave, the cabbie’ll say, farewell.

All you own’s inside your satchel.
The cabbie says you’ll beat the curfew –
you won’t be sure if he’s a rival,

or if the road leads to the terminal
where, huddled in their roundhouse, cars
point to or from the far walls

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of your city. You’ll pat your pockets for the schedule.
The cab backfires and hugs its curve
and you won’t be sure that it’s a rifle

or why the heart, beating out the spatial,
is agitated at its core,
something at the center feral:

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these posted signs, the engine’s purr, your travel-
ing light along this course.
You won’t be sure just how your eye falls
where you’re bound, and why that feels, in passing,
           like free will.

Steve Kronen lives in Miami. His collections include Splendor (BOA Editions) and Empirical Evidence (University of Georgia Press).

This article appears in the 20 Apr 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Shakespeare 400 years Iater