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February 13, 2019 Poetry

Jet Lag

Marianne Chan

Jet Lag photo

Dream that you are asleep 
beneath a mosquito net 
next to your mother
who is always singing. 
Forget that you are sixty. 
Time flies when you’re 
surviving with meals to eat, 
people to talk to, insulin 
injections to your belly. 
Wake up with Mama
on the back of your throat 
like the bone of a fish, caught. 
Forget that she is long gone. 
It’s been almost twenty years. 
Longer since she lost her legs.
Remember? Memory travels 
through several time zones, 
rises up in the air for hours. It is 
the checked bag you thought 
would never arrive, but was, 
all along, waiting for you  
on the carousel, one you didn’t
recognize. Decide which bag 
to carry on. Decide what 
becomes anniversaries, 
what to long for, what lyrics 
to sing, when to keep sleeping 
and when to wake up.

image: Dorothy Chan