Continental Drift

by Julie Rochlin

Can you feel the gravitational pull, wrenching us
from a time when we were whole? Oceans run
like scars through the continent’s jigsaw pieces.
And who doesn’t have a scar – maybe it appeared
when you couldn’t stop your bike, or the dog died.
Maybe your father left, or you worried a wound.
A friend’s cat chews himself raw, unsure
of his new surroundings. He hides under the bed,
refuses to explore – tufts of black fur mounting.
Maybe we all need to be pulled from our hiding place,
stroked until we settle. Let our wounds air. What if
you show someone that shiny stretch of skin –
grown smaller over time. Tell them it’s your first scar.
Ask if they’ll show you theirs. Listen, to their tale,
more myth than memory.  But it’s not the first scar, is it?
There, on the belly, lies the twisted knot, the inelegant
inside-out button. Proof, we begin severed and displaced –
puzzle pieces untethered and set adrift.

Photo by Lubo Minar