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?