Susan Maxwell


Down to the smallest detail, I spread out my arms. The dark unclotting into darkness we could not see through as day but could see all the same. Eyes unchanged or unfixed, the zone blossomed back on itself all the same without speed or slowness and wrenched our senses. Poor tongue, inventing slimmer and slimmer gauges. Poor tongue, bright cliff. Our skulls fell through the scrubbed dirt walls until we learned to go untouched by the inner hill. There was a porous circle on the back as nerved and alive as a closed eye and we rested our fingertips there to see. Later, under sun, the gesture expressed pain or an order for tea. There was nothing in it except the request for an outline and this took us by surprise. World-blackened sketch or sketch-blackened, rippling past. All our (meaning to rise and to sit back down, jeweled lump of) days.

A small shifting of skirts tucked between ankles and someone asking not to be kissed, down to the smallest detail. Our bodies whitening gradually into an inverse of the dark, mellifluous and brutal. When we darkened our only doorway again it was with our shadows and our shadows opposed us as a coined distance, a thing to be regained and held now too tightly for sight.

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