Daggered and Typed
Sensitive, yes, but I must be more than a thing. My corners are picked at until they become sharp argent windows. Then I am polished, smoothed with pumice, made a revelry in a tight sweater. Did men ever think that I may also explode, that my violence may be all violence? The nitric acid purges my surfaces— manufactures me chromatic & new. Am I ready for such terrible dimensions? Lathered in a bromine bath, iodine crystals soak my visage. Metamorphosis is better than baptism. Squeamish & sizzling, I pickle in the shade, but I know, really, I am slowing down. Dissolving into resolve, they are trying to make me susceptible. Tight & raw, I am locked in. Porous fumes fumigate me in the manhandle of machine. A heavy sheath conceals me. Exposure can burn. For a while, there is only the invisible eye with an invisible thorn-made telescope tattooing my skin. Then the staggering roar pours from image and the woman I can never be appears seated, her hair an infinity of twisting helixes, inventing static and spiral, doing what electrons do when no one is looking. Her skin pierces mine long shadows over tired silvers. Her jaw is lithe, unsmiling. Her eyes look back at herself through the portal of me, glowing and dead. I document memoirs of gray. My chloride pushes up, fetches water. Her dress buttons to her voice box, all the way up. I hold her. I see her. I be her. Will she see me, reproduced again & again? Is anyone there? She is burnt into me in more than traces, but in scars. I want to form an alliance. I want to make my mark on her. Tension leaves a tint in the limned moment. I develop slowly—the light that festered is not yet gone & she latches onto my silver. And when the mercury hits me, I can suddenly feel all the colors, and I wonder what I was so afraid of. I cannot be smudged negative. I am her soul walking in the yellow grasses, red bonnet towed to her bare shoulders, burning through the crisis of too much light.
Feature image via 'Art Collection - The Metropolitan Museum of Art'