Meeting the Curtain

There is a sidewalk between worlds.
On one side there is emptiness
and on the other an infinite curtain.
It’s made of a thick, dark blue velvet
and casts a faint purple glow
that illuminates the rock path beside it.
The curtain is constantly moving
like the surface of a vertical ocean.
A small, elderly man rides a unicycle
along the sidewalk, wobbling somewhat,
as if he hasn’t quite mastered his balance.
He circles me carefully, looking up
and adjusting his slightly bent, wire-frame
spectacles that stubbornly slide back to
the tip of his nose the very next moment.
After three more orbits, he takes off,
holding one hand out and touching
the curtain, sending out waves like ripples
on the surface of a lake. I watch him disappear.
“When we touch it here”, he says, suddenly beside me,
“it changes what happens on the other side.”
I wonder to myself, “What’s over there?”
“We are,” he answers, as if my question
was directed toward him.
“Here and there are the same possibility,
but you can only look at one each moment.”
Peering down, the man spies a pebble on
the sidewalk and stoops over to pick it up.
He squints his eyes, trying to see me clearly
over his apparently useless eye-wear, and
throws the rock at the curtain with a splash.
The waves radiate out in a circle, back and forth.
My stomach begins to hurt as the disturbance grows
and causes my body to refract in the hazy
radiance of the curtain.
I throw up in the sink of my bathroom.