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Ars Poetica

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He gave me a book and I opened it. The first line I noticed was, “The child with the blank face of an egg.” Then, I felt my face erased to its skull.


There was a missing space. So I peeled off a piece of a letter from the next page. And I nudged it carefully between the i and j.


She said, “How does it feel to have your head stuck in a zero?” Silence in a moment is imagination and I replied, “It is my halo.”


I erased a zero and it appeared in someone else’s thoughts. The sum of a zero and zero is zero. I wrote it again; this time it made sense.


He said, “We raise it to the lips of the nearest ear.” So, I began to open books, listen for ink boiling, the scent of words, coffee brewing in my ear.


I watched the clock as if reading a sentence. The numbers were letters. The short hand was a subject, the long hand, a predicate, and the seconds, a verb.


We both stared at the ceiling. I said, “My eyes feel as if they’re inside cups.” Then she said, “Shall I pour your eyes back into your ears?”


Language structures what we see without saying it. But I began to pull bones from sentences, and rearrange letters into skeletons.


I heard a circle as if it were a clock. It did not tick; made the sound of an insect: it was a number in the shape of a cricket.


I opened an envelope addressed to me. I pulled out a blank sheet of paper, unfolded it. In the letter: no message, no sender’s name, just a white space.


“I like that you exist,” she said. Like the lowercase i, my body felt present on a page: fitted in a dark suit, white necktie, and inside the black dot, a smile.


But it was the way her skin felt as she dressed into a black outfit. The way her body slipped into a long dark dress shaped like a shadow.


He picked up a stone; held it to his ear. Shook it like a broken watch. He opened it, and inside were small gears, shaped like a clock.


I am a skeleton, a sentence, too. Although like you, I am neither a meaning nor a structure, just silence in a complete thought.

Written by erika

2009/08/11 at 6:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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