Simultaneity

The laws of physics say that two
objects cannot occupy the same

space at the same time, but there are
forces that continue to pull at you,

asking you to prove the principle wrong,
asking you to abandon your place on this

continent, buy a plane ticket, rearrange
your life and whoosh over to the other

side of the world where there are
others waiting for you to fix

their lives, their fortunes, their
crumbling houses. And you’ve come

to the conclusion that the laws
of physics are indifferent or they

don’t really understand the ways
other parts of the material

universe work, especially those
occupied by immigrants, all of you

in the diaspora, everyone who still
somehow calls somewhere else home

and is reluctant to give oneself
completely to the present, even past

the hour of raising one’s hand
in allegiance to a new flag.

And isn’t it something to realize
as well that in this day and age,

fewer schoolchildren know about
Geography than you did growing up,

memorizing the capitals of states
and countries as though your lives

depended on it, reciting in a class-
room through frigid northern winters

the names of sunny climes, their
agricultural products, landmarks,

population; the seasons, wet and dry,
that did or didn’t correspond to your own.

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