“The latest, though, suggests that while time moves forward in our universe, it may run backwards in another, mirror universe that was created on the ‘other side’ of the Big Bang.”
— NOVA, 2014
While I unchew my nails, my grandmother
is born peacefully on a little bed with side rails.
It is Springtime, it is Easter, she is born
in the empty shadow of St. John the Divine.
She is tied inexplicably to progeny. She learns
how to love us. We wipe soup from her chin.
She calls for her mother, she learns
how to walk.
When the air gets warm, she goes slowly
around the block
to watch the red leaves levitate and kiss
their shivering branches.
On this side of things death is Russian dolls.
You stack them after playtime,
you don’t always remember
when last you stacked them, and so
her stomach unblooms. She cries incessantly.
She eats pickles from the deli next door.
Her husband gets down on one knee and so
things between them fizzle out.
To say goodbye, they trade chamber music
on a 45 rpm.
It doesn’t hurt because now she is beautiful,
and every man on Ocean Parkway wants her.
But on this side of things, my grandmother
forgets how to cook.
Her mother wipes soup from her chin.
Still, she is smart. Our mirror mother,
she is smart like we are.
She must make sense of things
like we do. She says, look.
The world is ending.
The bridges are unbuilding themselves.
She says, we are between wars. I know this
because I have seen it,
and smelt the sour-sweet fumes
from the automobiles,
and read it in my fever-dream textbook.
She says, look. Maybe, it is time
for me to go.