November 9th 2016
by Karlina Gonzalez
I’m in a hotel in New Jersey,
sixteen hundred miles from home.
The sky is grey outside the giant window that doesn’t open.
No cars pass the dark strip of asphalt below.
I am holding my breath with the world.
Afraid to move too much, too fast.
Afraid to dislodge the gear that will set
time moving forward again.
There is the distinct feeling
that, once I step over the threshold,
I will be going Out There.
Out There, is a strange and airless planet,
made to look like our own,
so that we might open the window,
letting the remaining air escape into the vacuum.
Across the bridge, protesters with anger for oxygen masks
are already flooding the streets.
The TV screen before me fills with bodies,
draped in American colors
rage, white, and blue.
I have never seen anything like it before.
Eyes wide, I can feel the dry air
ghost across the white sclera.
I cannot blink or look away.
My phone rings loudly dragging me
to the surface, gasping.
With shaking hands, I pick it up.
It’s the doctor I was waiting for,
the reason I’m here.
The results are in.