I learned from Kim, 40, whose car flipped
five times before her back broke
the day after she turned twenty.

Two decades have flown by
and she still remembers the clock — 3:45
on a fall afternoon – and I wonder if now
she prefers twilight, what kind of life
her companion led to have fallen
asleep in motion, how she holds
herself in chair pose, infinitely.

When she smiles, I decide I would like
built-in speed sensors, planted
just above the mount of Venus
letting me see when I let
the present runs away
in my palm.

How else could I be forced
into automatic breaks
but integrated bearings?

Like Kim, my movement is severely
confined to a rotational force
on a circular plane. But here she is,
coolly circumnavigating the metro
with three teens, when 19 elevators
are down, and all five lines are being single-
tracked for at least two stops, somewhere
in this system that lies largely underground.

Three days before, to visually remind myself
to take it slow, I snuck in a quick trip
to a pet store, pictured myself
on a hamster wheel. I printed online images
of adrenal glands for cooling meditations,
gazed at shifting cloud formations
between yoga poses.

At 17, I thought if I could draw in
enough smoke, I wouldn’t disappear
in the frenetic back beats. I suppose
I wanted to become the deep base
looping over and over again.

How do you interpret that I felt most alive
this week leaning back in a dental chair,
my jaw pried open for 120 minutes –
only five of them unbearable –
the rest possible thanks to a river and a raft
and rapids that turned into a calm wide
neck I found myself dreaming up while
physically contained?

Say what you will about strangers
spilling stories between stations.
Or see it a sign, of how to circle
around the truth of being trapped
and having all the space you’ll ever need.



Sign up to stay in touch and learn how to stay vibrant in the midst of life’s everyday stresses.