Third Culture

by Christine Adams Beckett

“Traveling, she realized, was like a slow dismemberment of the body. It plucked the heart out of her and split it into pieces, leaving a bit behind wherever she went, never to be whole again.” -Rhian J. Martin

 

An island, in the middle of the Atlantic:
Where one could straddle two worlds,
Two homes, unify torn hearts into
One numbed organ that beats dry,
Where unlabeled keys fit into locks,
Unnamed dogs fling
Themselves at just-opened doors
Without the accompanying emotion.
The coffee is served: just so.

No longing, no pain,
An antiseptic wholeness
Without the idealized notion
Of what was lost. An emotionless
Purgatory, where the bittersweet
Morsel is tasteless, no
Canonization of those gone.
Here, we are all unacquainted human beings,
In a place with no appeal,
At present with no past.

Leave the island, lose the half
To feel the tear, taste the metallic blood;
Jump in, head first, wet the feet, swim,
And recognize tenderness again.