The world didn’t used to be so big.
It was a long flight, sure.
But, the worst was a crying baby, or someone in the middle seat.
Now, it’s a virus.
Now, it’s red tape and visas, more visas.
Closed borders and quarantine.
Surrendering one family for the other.
My partner for my sister. My mother. My father.
Because when you leave, not all of you leaves.
You’re never one person in one place.
Passport and visa, equal weights in the hand.
And always, if I go, will I be allowed to return?
That round trip ticket only taking you one way.
It is a choice none of us were prepared for when we set off on our adventures.
The world didn’t used so be so big.
Immigration lines were hours, at the worst.
Now, days or maybes, or no.
And, I am selfish.
Because, I want both lives.
Because, I chose both lives.
Both sides of the world that used to be smaller.
Both versions of this person, myself.
Now, I am only half.
Now, in this mask, I am isolated.
Ashe is an American-expat-poet who hasn’t published in roughly half a decade and is somewhat obsessed with the duality of things. Because, if perception creates reality then nothing (everything) is (not) only what ‘we’ believe it to be, but also what others believe it to be, and what it believes itself to be. So, a thing is never just one thing, but at least, in totality, three things. This includes our understanding of ‘self’. If you’d like to discuss this further, you’ll need to bring over a bottle of wine.