Libby McDonnell

    – after Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
The space between decorum and desire contracts and expands.
As a birthday present I give her a necklace charmed with an antique typewriter key, the letter
that starts her first name.
Gestures follow their own logic, like a tree explaining the wind’s movement, embodying what’s
not visible.
When she wears it, I conjure the event as union, my searching handed over into her possession.
Foregrounded without intention, I am free to wander the expanse that separates and defines us,
to stitch a path to my notion of togetherness.
The air wells with remote circumstance or other impediments, bodies obstructing the line of
At the movies she shares my flask, but our wants do not otherwise overlap.
I remember feeling humiliated for my mother as she served party favors to the other woman.
“All things happen for a reason” is logic I will not debate, as reasons are logarithmic, populating
every field of loss.
A stranger’s intrusion breaches our group identity, like cold water washed over feet.
Conversation turns sweet when I crave salt, a momentary double vision.
I mean this in the largest sense, where an event deposits its residual opposite; what could have
transpired and does in your parallel, folded selfhoods.
The ethics of consequence swarm around betrayal, a halo thick but permeable. 
Scenarios exist in time as what does not manifest.
My mother’s pain recedes under an adult comprehension of what will and will not destroy you.
She rests a hand over my appetite: sand in a bite of meat.
We make eye contact.




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