Elegy on Unlicensed Nuclear Accelerator
for J. Park
The old ambulance-slash-hearse winds its way
through these Southern Californian streets.
The west coast Ghostbusters franchisee driving as
I check the Tobin’s Spirit Guide with your diary
to see what type of specter you would be.
Bifurcated, where would the ethereal half go?
Your physical body, possessed by a demon,
makes traditional parents worry less:
“Mixed-race children are just inferior.”
“This law-school has a large Korean student body
for me to find a man to marry.”
A satanic blessing. Who would ever know
she wasn’t just a daughter simply tired
of not meeting the conditions of a parent’s love?
There is psychokinetic energy
in the place where we would go to get sushi.
A carousel of chopsticks and knives
chasing bowls of wasabi in the air.
This is where we went on our first date.
You wrote you were impressed with my degree
in paranormal psychology:
he studies the anguish of the dead
the way I would study an old poem.
A class seven floating manifestation,
You’re trying, failing to take your old form
in our booth. You tell me I want to start over.
This time the demons won’t get me.
But it’s too late to restore things.
I fire a stream of protons
waving who you were
into a tiny radiating box
which prints out a ghost report on receipt
paper, a summary of someone gone
in small letters with gentle serifs.
The things left in the air come crashing to rest.
Which pony is best pony?
Pegasus or Unicorn?
Would you rather use magic or fly?
Can you use magic
to turn into something that flies?
Why would anyone want to be
a regular pony that can talk?
Did Mr. Ed enjoy his existence?
Do you think Equestria has a history
of apartheid and genocide? Can you imagine
separate drinking fountains and
borders for unicorns, pesgusi, and earth ponies?
Or do you think they separated them by color,
having pinkie pie districts, and blue mare groups.
Would they have little pony ghettos
and little pony work camps
overseen by little pony fascists?
What would they call them,
or glue factories?
Palestine or Israel?
Are you hopeful
about the Arab Spring?
What cartoons do you watch
in order to escape the news?
Wile E. Coyote or Road Runner?
Do you sympathize with Pepé Le Pew or Penelope Pussycat?
When you fight with loved ones are you Bugs or Daffy?
Do their words send your beak in orbit around your head?
Does this mean war?
Do you cry out for help,
or pull signs from behind your back?
How far can you walk off a cliff
without looking down?
Climb out of Hades
without looking back?
If I were to draw a tunnel on a boulder
would you be able to follow me through?
Do you think the scope of My Little Pony
is a post-apocalyptic future
after the nuclear holocaust
where ponies mutated and evolved
wings and magic?
Do you believe in evolution?
Do you believe in God?
Do you believe in love?
Do you believe in God’s love?
Do you believe God is love?
Do you believe Jesus is
Lord? Son of God? One third of God?
Do you believe that there is one god?
Do you question whether Muhammad is his messenger?
Do you believe in the Elements of Harmony?
Is the world doomed?
Can the world be saved?
Will you help?
What do you think Twilight Sparkle will do when she graduates?
Do you think she will work retail or an office job?
Do you think she worries
about student debts?
Does Princess Celestia subsidize the loans of her students?
What are you going to do
when you graduate?
Where do you want to be
Who are your Wonderbolts?
What is your fashion?
What would Discord have to tell you
to turn you against all of your friends?
Do you hate your friends?
Do you freak out
if they don’t come to your party?
If they don’t come to your pet’s party?
If they don’t come to your pet’s party’s after party?
As an artist, do you empathize
with Princess Luna’s crafted nights
How does it weigh on your mind?
Does it give you insomnia?
As an artist, do you work
until exhaustion like Apple Jack?
As an artist, do you beg
for criticism like Rarity?
Does everything have to be just right?
As an artist, do you mock
the 4th wall like Pinkie Pie?
As an artist, do you dash to the spotlight or shy away?
If you were Twilight Sparkle, as an artist,
would you study your craft
or your market more?
When saving the world with your friends,
what could Nightmare Moon turn into
that would send you back the other way?
What are you afraid of?
Which ghosts can’t you giggle away?
Do you have dreams
where they circle you?
Do you imagine someone
What do they look like?
Would you be disappointed
if they looked like me?
Sharif Shakhshir is a poet of Middle Eastern and Latin descent. Born, raised, and educated in California, Shakhshir has studied creative writing at UC Irvine and USC. Other poems by the author have appeared in Anthology of Writing that Risks, Crows Holow, and West Wind.