Perfect Union

by Alina Yaman

I feel heavy these days. I feel paralyzed. Half a centimeter beneath the surface – that’s where I
lie. The me of feeling, the me of soul, the me of action – I sit, half a centimeter beneath the
surface. I swell with heavy and tragic and despair, I swell with love and I feel weak so I stop I
stop half a centimeter beneath the surface and I sit inside an iron shield of armor
If I don’t think too hard the headaches will dull
If I don’t feel too much time will pass by
Time will pass by and God will heal me with his Patience
Time will pass by and the Universe will remind me
Remind me to Stand

I hear they take it real slow when you’re learning how to walk again
I hear they bend your knees first,
gentle hands roll ankles, massage toes,
then they stretch your back and slowly they bring you forward

I see hands slipping
grasping hopelessly for something
to hold on to
that wall you put up
it’s flat and smooth and eggshell white

Everything is made up
is the only thing I really learned in college

I’ll put my head down
and work
and do my part
and work
and find my way
and work

I’ll work because Özgen did
and she wakes up early and goes to bed late and thanks Allah for each day that passes
because she knows that He knows what she doesn’t know she knows that He sees what she
doesn’t see
she told me that the other day because I came to her in tears because it was a heavy day
she asked me why I was sad and I told her about the kids who died
two in one week
I told her about how I was scared for my friends and she said Allah knows Allah has a plan

I went to church today
I have this strange desire to devote myself to religiosity but a force in me is stuck
finish what you have started it tells me but I don’t know how to keep going

God will you bend my knees
God will you hold my joints with gentle hands
I have been sitting half a centimeter deep for a long time now
and my armor is worn and my head hurts and my heart weighs heavy
God will you bring me forward

I never really understood what healing meant
But some call me a healer

It feels misguided
it feels like patchwork
it feels made up
it feels like the whole world is fooled

I could never believe for the sake of believing
I wanted it to be revealed to me
I wanted to hear the secrets of the universe
I wanted to know what death was.

Death sat patiently at my dinner table
in my deep sighs
in the smoke that made sun rays
into companions

Death sat quietly with his hands tied
death was a neglected child
who just wanted to pick flowers
in the countryside
Does death have a heavy heart
does death sigh deep
does he feel

Maybe death is the happiest;
he gets to feel
the Whole weight of a Soul
blessed by passersby
and we,
the living
go forward
and up

We sprout like flowers in spring
with the hope that we’ll never wilt
and somehow
we forget

We forget
until death sits down at our dinner table
until we pass him the gravy
and wonder who invited him

We forget that he lives
in Perfect Union
with life

We forget that He is why
we are here