‘I <3 You' & 'A Second of Forever' by Christina Tang-Bernas

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I <3 You

Our imaginations create the world we inhabit.

Just as we see mathematical symbols shaped like a prone beating muscle and know it means love, perhaps the world you perceive is different from the world I perceive. But we will never know, we are so intent on agreeing about it.

That when I say I love you, I pretend when you repeat it, it means the exact same thing.

You do the same.

And it doesn’t matter if we’ll never truly know the difference. Not now anyways.

It’s not that we’re connected, in the way of idealistic teenagers. It’s more that we, our essentiality, are all separate quantum particles, shifting beside one another, surrounded by emptiness.

If I placed my hand against yours, our fingers twisted so our skin alternated between light and dark – like the blinds of our one-room apartment in late afternoon – and zoomed down to the quantum level. Could we trace the edge that defined me from you, where the electricity of my nerves shifted to the sparks of yours?

So, we are no different from anything else in the world. Which particles signify your life? Which denote your death?

We live. We eat. We grow. We love. We create new life. We die. We rot. We grow. We are eaten. We fuel new life. We are born. We live. Rinse and repeat.

Except at the quantum level, there is none of that. Only infinitesimal shifts here, there.

We imagine everything else.

Then what is love but that we made the choice to shape our world in such a way?

I chose you.

Somehow, you chose me.

And we agreed it was good.

A Second of Forever

zero [0]
point existing only in Time
one [1]
line, infinitely unfurling
two [2]
flat plane of actuality
three [3]
reality of Life as known
four [4]
Space woven through with Time

Space mapped
Time charted
in neat instruction sets
describing the movements
of every single bit that
has existed
does exist
will exist

an instant of me meeting
an instant of you
once, first
again and again
lives crisscrossing
until we form a snarled braid
of star-dusted points
imprinted in the Universe’s cloth
Forever

And when we learn to travel
not only Where but When
I’d hitch a ride on a ship
travelling through Time
through moments
scattered behind

the quirk of your lips
your forehead pressed to mine
fingers tangled together
as our lives have
So when I clutch close
each you-infused Second
beating furious against
my palm’s life lines
I remember each Second is Forever
and I let the moment
fly
Free

Christina Tang-Bernas lives in Southern California with her extroverted husband, introverted cat, and undecided daughter. Her work has appeared in Dark Matter, Tincture Journal, and Brevity Magazine. Find out more at http://www.christinatangbernas.com or follow her at @ctbideas.

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