the zenith
the channels of the television sky
the nadir

ANODE -|- elsewhere -|- [poetry] static -|- the television sky -|- waterproject 1998 -|- aurora -|- [fiction] -|- intimations of geography

13. five seconds caressing her arm
my long, slender fingers
        musician's hands

trace the line along the smoother side of your arm
        memories of your father, you call them
        threatening, looming in doorways
        lurking behind closed eyes
        in your sleep, you said

my witness at your mutilation
        the surgeon's grip
        is a writer's grip
        was your excuse

proved unable to prevent exaggeration
        a deeper truth
        a container for thought
        celestially accurate, you said

those devouring eyes i have
        what you call them
        inscrutable, misleading
        and other words

slipped upon your privacy
        a knife-fighter's grip is a fencing grip
        four fingers curl round
        thumb pointed along the blade

those cautious hands i have
        musician's hands
        nervous hands
        wondering hands
        you call them

lunged to your arm, grasping
        never felt me so assertive before
        what you said
        never felt me so frightened before
        what i thought

radial pulsed moist through my fingers
        musician's hands
        assertive hands
        soft, burning hands
        you recall later

in hesitant voice, i pleaded rough, uneven
        discordant, high-pitched
        an auctioneer's voice
        stuttering, accelerating
        was your accusation

rushed directly to cold hygienic passages
        it must be Freudian
        you said
        reeking antiseptic
        mercurochrome and iodine.

again they trace the line, the soft side of your arm
        follow the new lifeline
        askew and curving
        then blurred, difficult to see

your narrative, memories of your father
        a flawless line. they lead us
        straight in non-Euclidean space
        like a geodesic, a great circle
        a flight from Tokyo to London
        you say

from Ueno Park to Hyde Park, follow the story
        from elbow to wrist, raised
        unnaturally smooth
        deviations the result of magnetic fields
        and adrenaline byproducts

my finger pauses, pondering the end of the line
        the end at your wrist, the narrative from safety
        to the beginning where knife parted skin
        curved in flat space, leading us
        to where?