Backpacking with a Book
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Dean Young: The Rhythms Pronounce Themselves Then Vanish

Backpacking with a Book

After they told me the CT showed
there was nothing wrong with my stomach
but my heart was failing, I plunked
one of those weird two-dollar tea balls
I bought in Chinatown and it bobbed
and bloomed like a sea monster and tasted
like feet and I had at this huge
chocolate bar I got at Trader Joe’s
and didn’t answer the door even though
I could see it was UPS with the horse
medication and I thought of that picture
Patti took of me in an oval frame. Sweat
itself is odorless, composed of water,
sodium chloride, potassium salts,
and lactic acid; it’s the bacteria growing
on dead skin that provides the stench.
The average life span of a human taste bud
is seven to ten days. Nerve pulses
can travel up to a hundred and seventy miles per hour.
All information is useless.
The typical lightning bolt
is one inch wide and five miles long.

***

The helplessness of a dying person and the pointlessness of accumulating varied information—somehow it reminded me of the whining and devastated persona in Tem Adlawan’s “Ang Manok Inasal ni Rudy.”

Jona | Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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