I. We purged the silver linings from the air above, brushing them away like the thin pink rolls left behind after the purging of other ideas from filler paper. We were the property of the land, each of us licking the ground in supplication for its blessings, each of us hoping for the womb to bear fruit. We omitted the time of waiting for our stone god to speak. We petitioned directly the sand we tread upon. II. She poured out the sand, kept in her fist as memory (ever prepared for the day of its winnowing), and struck her tooth against silver, demonstrating the sole method of divining a flawless pitch from an unsuspecting accessory. II b. A wound in the firmament poured the waters above upon the waters below. III. Her ankles swelled with the weight of innumerable grains, each added as time grew upon time, her past easing back into obscurity and rarity. Each flex of her fingers sent across repellent posturing and made the screen violent in flung and dying electrons. Each nod of her head spilled forth fine powder, the quantization of memory. IV. The drift velocity along copper wires of law-abiding particles was the inevitable consequence of a detailed transformation, her emotion discharged through external filters, a smile unfamiliar as life itself. V. She wrote about the low-slung heavens, jeweled swords, and occasional disappearances. She murmured silently in binary digits and propelled electrons dancing in step-ladder potentials. Orion's belt, I recall, seen in winter months, and hidden beneath the horizon the remainder of the year, was the string of pearls dropped by God across the nape of her neck. High indices of refraction cleaved the light which flowed through it into countless unnamed varieties, each one the hint of her name. VI. Pressure accreted behind riveted plates of ferrous embossed metal, the hydraulic means by which her cargo was conveyed. VI b. White noise like radio static or winter rain or leaking steam or wind-blown leaves granted solace from the breathless pursuit of gratification. VII. We cast aside the clouds overhead, like the shavings of pine from a woodworker's bench, and threw our handfuls of dirt to the ground. We were the possession of the earth lined up on a plain and we were the image of our love thrown out into the yard, or burned in an ashtray. We observed the protocol, asking of the fire before asking of the ashes. VII b. An incision in the firmament permitted the waters above to fall upon the waters below.

©1998 Timothy A. Clark