New Theory on Time Indicates Present and Future Exist Simultaneously

I want to tell myself a story, and so I have.

There once was a girl. The body knows this. It climbs

like the girl once will, atop the lichened boulder,

atop the red-rocked mountain. It calls

the bruising sun of August to flare and fill the lens

so all that’s left of memory is light and legs,

the blue hem of a dress and its white unbuttoning

erased and unerased. Accepting this is easier

than teaching our salted tongues to pray.

Yesterday, in the still and light-soaked room,

the body will speak of teeth and skin and pills.

The girl and I will try hard not to listen. I have told her

and wanted to tell, I am saying it now so I might hear

me—we can hold it all, the seconds that go before

and after us, spreading into the universe, each one

split and endless and whole.


Jenny Yang Cropp is the author of the poetry collection String Theory (Mongrel Empire Press), a 2016 Oklahoma Book Award finalist, and two poetry chapbooks, Not a Bird or a Flower (Ryga, 2018) and Hanging the Moon (RockSaw, 2010). She is an Assistant Professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University where she teaches poetry and publishing and serves as the poetry editor for Big Muddy.