Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Inside excitement is a strand of terror

After all the other voices have gone, we set out a broken clock, because stilled time is the beautiful kind. You move as a sailboat without wind. I don’t mind. I remove your glasses, and light strings out. We lie down again inside our own weight, learn to surrender. Oranges can float there, at the edge where one sips. I remember that to kiss evolved from leaning in to smell.

To converse still means to lean into a mouth.

Lungs take what they can
from the underside, past imagining.

I understand only the surface where I touch.

I understand we cannot look at ourselves
only through.

You say, Here is a Chinese finger trap I have woven with patchouli and horsehair—one end is yours, take it.

I say, Yes, and any slice of water baptizes, like the steam from the faucet that clings to your face. I am your pasture.

You say, I suppose it’s possible to lie down on that roof but maneuvering will be difficult.

I say, We are already two keyholes in the shape of arrows pointing up to that roof, so take it.