At the speed of light, squared by AKaiser

By Wasafiri Editor on January 19, 2014 in

AKaiser’s poems have recently appeared in Amsterdam Quarterly, Temenos Journal and Coldnoon: Travel Poetics. This past spring, she was a resident at JIWAR, Spain. She is a translator, currently working on the writings of Cebrià de Montoliu, the first translator of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass into Catalan.


There are scientists who have done experiments

on a mother’s connection

to her child across boundaries of body and space.

Across the globe, they have measured mothers

feeling – not the joy – but the pain

of her child though separated by far miles and zones

of time. They surmised that they are reality, these

shared emotions days of travel

apart, that they can be registered at the speed of light,

squared. I thought of this while we waited for the

acupuncturist, your foot so badly

black and blued from kicking a stone stair with all

your might, not realising the friend had already pulled

the ball away. Her office all soft

lights and muted erhu notes. Curtain ripple, she’s here.

We go through the healing we had tried to accelerate

since our last visit. Changes

in pain, swelling become inert – despite the massages

and the Chinese ointment we mixed with good faith,

water then wine. It thought how

is it that I did not feel you hitting your foot hitting

immoveable stone that afternoon of extra recess me

working a mere. 5 miles away?

How is it that I did not feel that, if, when she grabbed

your foot and bent it in the direction you had explained

still hurt, I felt, again

the ring of fire I had felt ten years previous when you


crowned your head through me to this outside world?