By Linda L. Holland

In a bubble the size of a stadium, it’s just dusk. Emergency lights bounce off the fireman’s coat. I stand next to him and notice my reflection in his eyes. He looks from crumpled-up car to me and asks “You are refusing an ambulance?” 

I know I am in an altered state; the impact was sudden. Events have slowed, and part of me is aware that time has shifted into a lower gear, or different gear, or all gears operating simultaneously. Around the crash scene my bubble-stadium puffs out like a sail catching wind. Through my skin and pulse I perceive, but cannot quite understand, how time is corporeal; our bodily sensations inform us of time’s horizontalness. 

It took 2 seconds to realize the car flying towards me was really flying towards me. My car is toast, it looks like a soda can that’s been crushed by a giant boot, and surprisingly, I am OK, although my mind is blown, and it’s very strange that I can feel the bubble of space we are in, and I believe it has something to do with time, and my prior concept of time has dissolved and in its place is this shifting/breathing shape of here/ now, like a giant lung we are inside of, the present ripped open, yes! it’s a gift! though I do not wish this sort of trauma on anyone, but everything is possible, right now, like the place Emily Dickinson dwells, and I fall in love with the fireman when he asks “You are refusing an ambulance?” I say, “I am walking and talking! I am alive!” And then I laugh. And then he laughs.

Linda L. Holland is a writer/musician. Her writing has been published in the Cortland Review, Clean Run, and the anthology An Even Dozen. Her music has won awards from ASCAP and has premiered at Carnegie and Wigmore Halls. Linda teaches at Santa Barbara City College. Also by this poet: "Blue" and "What is left"