“Traveling with the Speed of Light” by Zeina Azzam, a poem from the chapbook, Bayna Bayna: In-Between, released in May 2021, by The Poetry Box, has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.
Please enjoy the poem, and feel free to leave a comment.
“Traveling with the Speed of Light”
News from Damascus scrolls on TV,
a morning chat with a friend just home
from work, seven hours in the future.
My hands can almost touch the cyclamen
on West Bank hills, as if tending flowers
in my backyard. The corniche road
winding around Beirut’s tip hugging
the sea, so close to my doorstep.
As world wanderers we click on screens,
sift symbols, look with sister eyes
in oval lenses of intersecting circles,
the radius of the voyage invisible.
Stories between ethereal mouths and
ears, voices in bits and bytes penetrate
thick mountains, deserts. We measure
epiphanies in seconds, move on,
leave unintended footprints:
there are dreams of tented trysts,
shards of conversations, mistakes—
maybe second thoughts—deleted.
Like dense coffee grounds lining once
welcoming cups, or small bowls of dull
olive pits, a sadness. Only scintillas
of thoughts linger, a salty taste in memory.
Now in Washington a white moon blooms
while the sun throws rays on Jerusalem
and Amman…and this luminous language
of loving: imaginary lines around the globe,
a curving cage of messages at the speed
of light. We reach out, draw in, close as
the space between fingers on a keyboard,
far as the great meridian from pole to pole.