Inquiry Into the Origins and Resurrection of Humpty Dumpty

Inquiry Into the Origins and Resurrection of Humpty Dumpty

They say that All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
couldn’t put him back together again. Tell me—
how the fuck does a horse hoof an egg back together?
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that everything must
go from order to disorder in the natural progression of time. So far, scientists
have only managed to reverse time for a fraction of a molecule
held in place with a laser,
and it wiggles back and forth on the 3-D axes
more subtly than a nose hair.
They’ve made a teensy Time’s Arrow that slugs
in the opposite direction for a jiffy.
Still, if such a principle be applied to Humpty, could he
potentially be restored?
But what of his sealed fate?
Literarily falling for centuries, over and over again
in that lullaby sung to every child of the earth.

Each little tidbit of shell that had gone to sleep
in the ground’s crevices a hundred years deep,
drew together as if swept by the bristly face
of an invisible broom going at a leisurely pace.

Tell me—
why did he fall? Why does he always fall in every single
damn rendition of his song? Was he doing a headstand and trying to play ping-pong?
Why was the human feature of physical stability
not present within his eggy bum?
Derrida would probably reason that Humpty fell because the structure of the egg
its own yolk. But Derrida assumes
that Humpty was an egg.
Eric Partridge, in his dictionary of slang, defines humpty-dumpty as,
A short, dumpy, round-shouldered, gen.
clumsy person, thereby conceptualizing him as human. But why would posterity create
a song about a bloke who fell off a wall in the 1790s?

The splattered white and yolk too were sucked out of the ground,
droplet by gelatinous droplet they became air bound,
forming an orb of thick omelet mixture, surrounded
by four orbits of egg-shell in trance.

I recently learnt that nature intervenes in every process,
tranquilizing them as they progress. Aging, rusting, burning,
at their peaks, they all take place in quicksand. So what about falling?
If we can’t reconstruct time back to when Humpty was happily
dangling his feet and confusing Alice about semantics, could we
slow it down
enough for him to register, and perhaps even enjoy, his fall?

The little planet danced upwards, near to the top of the wall.
Then, too delicately for the eye to measure,
it began its descent with the smile of a youth
who, bending down amidst the morning street hustle,
reads the fullness of meaning
into the scab on his knee.

Raza Ijaz is a writer based in Lahore, Pakistan. He is currently at work on his first novel, and his poetry has previously appeared in The Aleph Review.

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