* — April 2, 2017

July Pastorello, 2014

    I am at the beginning of my existence. The beginning of expanding the word of her condition. Receptors of mortar. Receptor of alimonies. Almond balancing on a cup of tea. Liars falling asleep. Breaking insomnia on snow. We drift like listeners over stone. We break her shoes open. Distinguished by breath. We are breathless now, windows expanding into other windows. We become only snow drifters, waking mountains in their angular awakening. And, this is how we drift within each other. This is how our passion merged with stone. If words were water and if we were snowdrifters and if ice knew how to speak back to the distance of time or the inner glacier of a t-shirt. I drift now forever into words. Like this is how we discipline stone and ice to communicate. Before beans knew how to climb trees and ivies knew the forward retraction of wall. How indifferent they can be. With space marrying time and divorcing death. With breath climbing lonely stones. The foreverness of her crying.


    We sobbed our bodies into glass, reflection of our imminent philosophical selves. We drive into our bodies. These mirrors that knew us before we knew them. And, this brokenness only collide us into thunderstorms. Collectors of medicine. They mean to say light bulbs could swing their legs into air. They married two pieces of fabric onto the fabric of time. We thought and then we cry on the shoulders of gigantic pajamas. When she fainted, her t-shirt was crying on her torso. Fabric sobbing against skin. We wake up to swim with time. We are cheesecloths on backs of a young father and cheesecloths carrying children under the age of two.


    To wish giants out of their ladders of ecstasy – we escaped into small orifices existing only in not-yet-blown balloons. We swing this elasticity into the air – a wall separating two air ducts from kissing each other, but infinity sits by death and sniffs in unassignable quantity. I can only blow you when you are not beautiful. Even elasticity has taste in men. And, we dream we are different species of light. Women on Plutos; Men on Jupiters. Space is space. Separated by this awakening. To blow you, I must bow like a female ninja, form out of form, not yet deformed by underblown elasticity. We deliver this desire to you – waking your body unevenly. We were waterescapee before we were lightdrifters. We were not these morbid stones sitting around a pool of turquoise water. We drank in light. We drank in oak. Not trees, but morbid philosophical selves with windows inside of ourselves. Hand clutching air by the sea foam.


    Snow aches. Window aches. Storm door aches, their teeth clattering against hard plastic, against metal. We walk back now to the table and stage our divisions of infinity. We align themselves like pages. Ideas that flash inwards from being trained by centipedes of light. And, these things they come to us from the bottom of falling apart. We slept on trees like trees sleeping on shades. And, even when cheesecloths have inconsistent holes on their outside, we expect these intimacies of midnight indifferences to capture Naomi, our undivided love away from the biblical species. They flush their inner toilet.


    In order to urinate from the inside – they had to create an infrastructure that acutely divides their memory from that of a stone. We create windows so we can ache as light passes through. As light kisses our systems. As rocks wish they could cry on snow. And, now clutching the air, the hawks scream into their own marred ecstasy. Gazing up, beyond the broken fields of eyelashes and eyebrows, we become geniuses of this. We hog the page and the rage comes in torrents, with fluvial wings strapped to water-mine. Micro-pockets of explosion – we hugged our waterwheels. We hug what could only be slipping away from us – in the currency of movement. Later when we reach out to others from our outer boxes, we reform our informants: from being spies into silhouettes. And, if need be, we fall apart to become inconsistent holes, not the ones from our cheesecloth, but our sackcloth, in which our genitals call them as our new homes.


    Skillfully we redact. We retract the un-attractable. We wake up swimming in our own delirium. Our midnight can openers, our forbidden cans of anchovies. Hives – these actors that play inside of our beehives. These queens wearing eyebrows stitched from the base of public hair.


    We were once liars before we become prophets. And, like this, our eyelashes seek the infinite comb – the one without the broken blade that breaks the flow of our vendors. We ache so we could cockblock our rage. In the age of cockblocking and silhouettes, our tongues help homebuyers buy their homes. Our vendors are wanted from their flee markets. We service the cleaners from our spines. Pages attached by the limp. Formica of grass and of memory, select this age for rebinding. Select this ape for reselecting.


    Our frame is a bag of rice – our hailstones from infinite camera beans. In which, we flicker before we grind. In which, we beseech the camerawoman for our micro-lens. Even liberty makes fun of our wings. And, everything screams to pay its own bills. We medicate our credibility. Readjusting our formulas of acuity. And, we do this privately, from our moving boxes. From our packaging. From our anger management issues. We reissue these while waiting for our fellow customers to seek outside food and beverages. We are averages this way: our outside food as inside food. Then, when she axes her fellow mermaids with the fish knife; we knew her hatred for them was in their raw form. One bite at a time, we medicate. One bite at a time, we become the Jones. Like Saturdays with their awaken dreams, we cup our fruitcakes and pretend they were our floral boobs, the kinds that were kaleidoscopic milk ducts that sang from their emotion of colors.


    We even dare to cockblock each other. We even dare to become milk and someone’s cream. When she walked out of that stall with her blue jean skirt – our fly flappers flapping their wounded urine. It’s not every day we become area rugs. Or our cupcakes kissing their masculine men dressed in biscotti. We were so wonderful: with our lightning moving in front of us. Our tires trekking on our snow. Our delirium insured. Our bite marks uneven. Even relationships from the mountain have poor communication skills. We ask others for terrible things. We ask others not out of spite, but out of our own doubt. We dream that we are not decision makers or timekeepers or linebackers. We abduct children from their sky mountains or give children formulas for their dreams.

Originally published in No Tokens Issue No. 6. View full issue & more.

VI KHI NAO is the author of a novel, Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016), and The Old Philosopher (Nightboat Books, 2016), a poetry collection. Vi’s work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize and the 2016 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest.