CONJUNCTIONS:64, Natural Causes (Spring 2015)
The Face Says Do Not Kill Me
They slowly rolled along beside it, daughter pushing mother in her chair
a carving up into the air and down into the rocky soil, staring in one and then the other direction.
The wall was no metaphor. There was no transferring to another side, another meaning
No way to pass through
What the air had become: a barrier
And what about that other wall, silent owner of supplications
Her mother called out,
“Where is the end of it?”
The daughters were making their bodies into islands, imagining the world a sea
Going under ground and becoming worms, crawling under it
A subtle routine, this imagining of nonhuman elisions, receptive shapes and continuous terrains
Like water, earth, and air, flora and fauna, nonhuman axes, bats, gazelles, or coral
As insects they could crawl under, get outside, inside, or as vines
In a vegetative ecstasy of persistence
Leaning, falling, pushing, living back
against the wall.
They could crawl
dry up on it in the desert sun
It is no figure, no monument, it is there to be breached with prepositions, to climb
They sit down under the shade of it
light a smoke, a light, a smoke
under the gun
under the sun.
The children concoct dissolution recipes
Build up and then kick down
a pretend wall.
Or lie on their backs with their heads facing opposite directions, kicking each other
Until whatever was between them fell away
On a walk, they find
signs of abandonment
some animals pace, others, resigned, slump
nor migration corridor.
An intriguing whorl protrudes
uproot a broken chair leg mostly buried in sand
Looking up they
Throw it as high in the air as they can.
a picture album with broken hinges
filled with photographs of windows
through which various people see
events occurring on the other side
in the distance
intimate and faraway
The Kingdom of This World, by Alejo Carpentier
Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih
These they gave their mother
Who slides into the books like an eel
As if a book is …
… a way out
something real …
Wedge of disruption
jutting up from the dust
an aerial track
to the sun.
In a seated position under the wall
a dry abrasion in her throat
she sees a way to
one cut after another
excitedly she strikes
to make the pieces fall out,
carving a head,
Miranda Mellis is the author of the forthcoming Demystifications (Solid Objects). Other books include The Spokes (Solid Objects), as well as None of This Is Real (Sidebrow), The Revisionist (Calamari), and two chapbooks, The Quarry (Trafficker) and Materialisms (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs).