Asteroid Salve, 2020

Zach Polis reads of an asteroid coming in particles so small we may not even notice. Before this seems so distant from the now, and tomorrow further still. Will there be a time again when we’re no longer scared to embrace those who mean most? Time’s blurring; days and somehow weeks seem to blow by and equally take forever to pass. I always joked with friends about how nice it’d be to retire early, but this isn’t what I had in mind. I hadn’t imagined feeling trapped in my own home, within my own arms reach. Instagram shows everyone finding ways to be productive, and yet I find myself barely able to get out and bed and showered. It should be easy with all this time, but between the daily press briefings there seem to be only a few moments to make food and curl in bed. My partner’s heart beat upon my skin keeps me calm and present. The small of their neck is my salve, their voice is my salve, the way they look at me with compassion is my salve. Lauren Wetmore taught me that time itself was unprecedented, and that is what makes all time the same.

I’ve been ruminating about the words in bell hook’s Teaching To Transgress ever since I read it a few weeks ago. She speaks of all the ways that language itself can alter our way of understanding ideas and spreading knowledge. That by writing and speaking words that are altogether too academic we hinder the ability of so many to enter our thoughts. I imagine it as a way of loosening language, allowing it to be with its surroundings—giving language its own voice. This liquid medium that can fill every void around it between every crevice, into every ear.

These tiny bits of asteroids will never fully wash clean from our clothes. They’ll be something we find in years to come baked onto our window sills while cleaning after winters past.