NASA scientists discover evidence of a parallel universe where time runs backwards (?)
-New York Post, May 2020

 

Trapped as we are in the unidirectional flow
of our lives, haven’t we all held it in our hearts
at some point? That hope that we can one day
turn around and revisit all that we have lost.
It is enticing at first. Run home in the rain once again
with secondary school friends. Un-watch season eight
of Game of Thrones. Return my facemasks
to the shelf in the store and slip into the cinema.
Even the ozone layer dreams of its pre-industrial self
just as I imagine my grandmother- bones and hair
and teeth at first, then whole, rising from the earth,
catwalking backwards till she is sitting beside me
in her apartment, our ears giving back sound waves to
the gap between the lips of the Yoruba presenter on Radio Lagos.
What wouldn’t we give for these and more?

In that world, NASA is un-finding clues about its existence.
My alternate self is erasing this poem. He doesn’t know
He will take back his gift—an earring—to the woman he loves
and succumb to a life without any memory of her. He will age
into a carefree body. Lose money. Smile more.
And how much of my own future doesn’t he know already?
I keep wondering about his past and all that he knows
the same way he is curious about my experiences.
I imagine him making progress while walking barefoot
on his share of sharp stones, thinking things must be better
in my own lane. Both of us nursing our injuries
through the opposite paths we take to death,
searching for proof of each other’s existence,
wishing from time to time, we were each other.

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Photo by Rico Lee (asdgraphy / mom via Flickr.