Panic

Your daughter is walking down the stairs, her footsteps racing, rhythmic, rapid. What if she trips, falls, tumbles? What if she breaks bones, ruptures her spleen, shears the tender capillaries worming through her cerebral membranes?

You stand on the seventh floor balcony in South Beach. Your heart pounds. What if some demented impulse to jump overtakes you and you can’t stop it? What if the railing cracks when you lean? What if the whole balcony crumbles to the street below?

You lie in your hotel room in Midtown and listen as sirens slash the night. What if someone breaks into your room? What if you get hit by a car while crossing 7th Avenue? What if someone abducts your child while you are not looking?

Can you smell fear? It smells like mud, like wet dog, like Sasquatch being chased by errant hunters. It sticks in your throat and it gives you away. It advertises your availability — to be snatched, devoured, deleted.

What if your daughter doesn’t pay attention? What if she isn’t careful? Will she vanish, disappear without a trace, mutate into what the world expects from a woman?

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The consequence of entanglement

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Sally Potter and Pablo Veron, from the film The Tango Lesson

You and I separated by imagination
Fragmented at birth
Drifting into disparity
While every particle spins
In concert with its partner
In a wild tango of nonlocality

Red on white

There’s white on white and black on white
And no relief from it in sight
And black on black and red on white
And feathers floating in the night

And feathers floating in the night
They hover softly in mid-flight
In swirling motion they delight
The air swallowing the light

The air swallowing the light
I wish I may I wish I might
The bloody memory of night
A distant cry of distant fight

A distant cry of distant fight
Why here it is, in red, on white
I see it clearly as I write
This white on white and black on white

Sunset

The sky a kid’s face covered in baby food
Orange streaks ending in root chunks
Opaque memory of the future
Clouds rushing as if late for work
The occasional crow’s swoosh into the distance
Like a paper airplane across my dining room
A gravitational heave arcing up in a paradox
What a clever fox you are waiting
In the clumps of your own strategy
Marooning your desire in feet of delight