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Burning the Bridge - Julia Knox

Did you know I was watching you,

the day the sun set fire to the bridge?

You skipped rocks -

I was watching you through the dense pine

Wet grass stuck to the backs of my thighs,

dirt in the crevices of my summer knees.

They smelled of horse manure and freshly cut grass.

It had never occurred to me to look pretty

I hunted for crayfish down at the creek,

I never wore sunscreen, I never burned.

Did you know I was watching you,

the day I set out for Mecca?

Knee deep in the creek,

I watched the crayfish swim through the clear, freezing water

I felt my feet on the always rocky bottom.

I watched you burn.


Julia Knox is a research scientist and candidate in Narrative Medicine in the Columbia Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics, and fellow at the Precision Medicine Ethics, Politics, Culture Project at Columbia's Center for Social Difference. She is interested in how data takes narrative form in our society.


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