Register Wednesday | June 12 | 2024
the science of holding on

the science of holding on

New poetry from Natalie Lim.

Newsweek tells me that time travel

might be possible if we can first locate

an object with infinite density. I don’t pretend

to understand why, but Google ‘infinite density’

anyway, learn how the laws of physics refuse to comply

in certain places, like black holes, like old memories—

could something like that live here?

see the astronauts towing it home on a string,

their padded hands placing it gently on a pedestal

to be feared and admired,

used for the greater good.

we might go to look at it on a Friday night,

pay an entrance fee to watch the scientists

make history obsolete as they shout to be heard 

over the mechanical drone of their progress. 

we’ve done it, they’d say,

their faces beaming through bulletproof glass,

and now we will see the future. 

the next morning, my local paper will report

the most impressive scientific breakthrough

of the 21st century. I will flip past to the weather

as I reach for a cup of coffee, reach again

to hang a weight on these hands.

anything to slow the ticking,

keep the nectarines unripe, uneaten, 

not soft enough yet

to bruise. 

I am selfish, see?

everyone I love is now. 

I text, pray, hug, call,

check the clock to make sure. 

still here.

still here.

still here.