Angela Stubbs: It is Not Appropriate

Fall '12 TOC

 

She is covered in green and yellow patches, bruised from the weight of words. They emerge in fragments and phrases and cover her body. When they find their way to the surface, you witness affliction in action. Every sentence leaves your mouth and finds its way under her skin. Standing in the middle of wooden bookcases and those waiting for a spectacle, she reveals words that travel the length of her arm from underneath frilly wrist ruffles. As you read aloud to no one in particular, she becomes silent. You motion for her to stand closer. She says the word private and shoots you a look. You distribute space through the opening in her mind and are slow when it comes to moments. She is contaminated from asymmetrical arias that float from your mouth and linger in her throat. She says it is not appropriate to sing because she does not want your soft middle. "Here it is on a platter!" you holler, teetering on the edge of dispute, waiting for thoughts that feel made up. Put another way. Promises, promises.
 
She itches at the epidermis, covered in suffering, waiting for relief. You ask her for light and wisdom and say whatever you say. How you feel doesn't matter because illness is not mercury weighing you down in a boat. While she fidgets, you bend over backward, removing words from her legs. You rearrange iterations on the back of her hands, making language portraits, just for her. She says it does not change limits, nor verity, but you know time and the universe. She checks her body for contractions and peels off apostrophes. All you see is caution. You are redacting articles every single second. She argues about proximity, claiming ownership to various parts of happenstance. As you edit the story, old versions remain visible on her body, causing blurriness and a rash.
 
You carry a star and the warmth of a bath to her. If hyphens surround her, in both French and Hebrew, she will allow for partial views from lukewarm tub water. Words flash and disappear on her skin, so you do nothing for her. When you attempt additions, they fill her heart, against her will. She hears a hollow sound where echoes result from arrhythmia, where you are both siamese.
 
Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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