All my friends have grown up inside bubbles.
They float a few centimeters above the soil
And swear there’s dirt between their toes.
It’s all lies of course,
I have seen how their momma’s servants
Clean under their nails when they sleep.
I’ve been inside the bubbles,
They’re nice and warm and fully furnished,
They’re clean and perfectly transparent.
The air is easier to breathe
And it’s fueled with vitamins
And brand-named antibiotics.
Parties of bubble-people form up from time to time,
And they surround the ugliest one
Or the fattest one
Or the slowest one
And burst their protection
With a fine, sharp needle.
Or sometimes lovers,
Shared-bubble type of lovers
Plan a secret conquest overnight
And push their lover out without saying goodbye.
And the polluted air
Makes their lips sore and red,
Their bodies, unused to gravity,
Spread along the mud like poached eggs.
And the dirt gets inside their nostrils,
And the water carves into their bones,
And they shiver from the cold, dark air,
And for once, they’re lost in the real world.
My father once cut his bubble open
And created a suit with it.
With microbes living in his teeth,
He found who he was meant to be
And managed, after all, to create great things.
And he traveled on and away
And even further away.
And when he came back
He tried to hide the dirt under his feet.
So he sat at the corner of his life
And waited for the protective plasma
To re-flourish around him again.
His eyes were tired of the little particles of dust.
His hands were tired from having clenched onto his goals for far too long.
And he was done.
Now I see him floating around the wine cellar
Wondering about prices
Figuring out how to make his kids
What he gave up on being.
And I can’t tell if he wants me to run,
On the floor
With aching lungs.
Because I sure know I want to.
But he seems to have forgotten what it’s like
To see the world without a veil between your eyes.
Camila de la Parra, born in Mexico City in 1995 and currently a senior at the American School Foundation, strongly dislikes wearing sandals. She started exploiting her passion for writing in the summer of 2011 when she took a creative writing course at Columbia University and interned at the Stowe Reporter. Once her romance with the written word started, she founded the international literary magazine Repentino at her high school. She does most of her writing during anatomy and history classes or at any point between midnight and three in the morning.