Alina Siddiqui, Barnard College, New York, United States
Do you ever talk and while talking, suddenly
you don’t know what’s coming out of your mouth anymore,
where did all your thoughts go?
and you stutter and stop. you don’t know where.
and your conversation partner nods. Saving
you from the humiliation of acknowledging your
lost in translation between the oceans in your mind.
Her nods invite you to trail off and
the thought never needed to exist, says the peculiar
reassuring rearrangement of her eyebrows.
My heart muscles are weak, I think
if a cigarette was found between my lips again
I would die on the spot.
so I run on the treadmill.
I start off fast.
trying to keep up with the beating of my heart, I run faster.
If I lower the speed, I’m out of sync.
I cannot keep balance without holding on to
I watch people fly and fall off besides me,
but I can only bear to stain the rubber rail
with the ever-present sweat of my palms,
while my tense rib muscles forbid my lungs
This is enough.
I’ve always wondered,
tell me if you’ve wondered this too,
how long runaway balloons survive
floating in the great blue sky?
I think, the burst
might have to do with pressures,
I’d ask a physicist if I knew one,
where to find one,
how to approach one.
I wonder if this physicist would understand
my want to know
to the ribbon, the knot, the shattered rubber,
I wonder if they ever touch land.