I can still feel its heat, the smell of burnt hair after you placed your arm in its opening. How I called your name into its mouth, as if you were still able to hear me. As if the wormhole had a belly. As if it was a great sperm whale and you an old man, a cat, a goldfish, a puppet.
The sour smell of ozone forever lingers on my mustache, even when I shave it off and it grows back anew.
Its mouth—the dark darker than dark. How you stretched thin, and were gone.
We were barely twenty then. Back when we watched Darren Aronofsky’s Pi in your dorm room. Back when we cuddled together on your twin bed while your roommate was home on weekends.
You said you were going to tell your parents about us. Soon, you said. Soon, and then you left.
If I could condense space-time. If I could pull it like a string. If I could just get it to bend.
It’s strange how hope still clings to truth like some parasitic wish. Like I could just stumble upon another opening, another access, somewhere in the park by the water tower, or in the changing room at some store. I still look everywhere.
And what if I was to find one? What if I tripped over myself and stretched like taffy into the void? Would you recognize me right away? Would you believe how long it’s been? Would you understand how the years have passed? How they’ve passed with the heaviness of a wet blanket?
But what if I really was to find one? What if it was just there again? After I’ve sketched equations on forests of notebooks, consulted hundreds of scientists, maniacs, broken fingernails scratching at graph paper, killing myself just to find patterns in the ripples of skipped stones—what if it was just suddenly there again?
All these years. All these years.
And for you, my dear boy, you’re probably still in a state of shock, just mere seconds after it happened. How time is different where you are. How if I saw you today, your face would still be smooth from your morning shave.
I ask myself: Would you be distorted from the weight inside? I ask myself: Would you still be you?
If only I could get back to the beginning. If only I could rediscover you on some miscreant thread of string theory. You in your green t-shirt and the smell of Barbasol on your skin. Just like you were, and simultaneously, precisely, just like you are.
Adam Gianforcaro is the author of the poetry collection Morning Time in the Household, Looking Out and children’s picture book Uma the Umbrella. His work can be found in Hippocampus Magazine, Kentucky Review, The Los Angeles Review, Sundog Lit, Potluck and others.