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Out of Time: a Poem About a Life Lived Backwards

Teodora is a bilingual writer. She is the author of two books, a poetry volume and a collection of short stories.


TIME... I have always found it fascinating. All those seconds and minutes rolled into one eternity. Infinity scares me though. Who am I without my earthly identity? I know I am spirit. I know I am boundless, but I need boundaries to define myself, to contain this human vessel that carries all my thoughts and wishes. It’s silly, but it’s part of being alive. Here. Now. Then why am I so tempted to live in the past? To live...backwards.

Don’t we all start living backwards after a while? The old man becomes a child again. The clock hands forget themselves and decide to take a turn. Resignation becomes expectation. Even the butterfly transforms into a caterpillar. Time plays tricks on us. It can do whatever it wants. It’s larger than life.

There’s an hourglass in my heart

every time it turns

I grow a little younger;

I’m learning to do everything backwards now.

Soon, I’ll be falling in love for the first time

after a while I’ll forget his name

and why there are only four seasons

but so many kinds of weather.

I might even forget how to bend the truth

in order to preserve my innocence.

The doctors call it a wondrous rejuvenation

– this is merely a sad misunderstanding.

I’m actually suffering from a philosophical death

I’m shedding the crust of life layer by layer

until I get a hold of its essence

untainted by the triviality of time.

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