I. Space Oddity

She squeezes a thimble

of space between forefinger and thumb;

it was that close. Weyland, still rigid,

pats with amorphous fingers for the wart on the face

of the otherwise untouched, anodized wall to scatter

her into a lattice of threaded light

again.

 

The government maintains a one hundred and forty word limit

per person, per day, in effort

to get people to shake hands

and kiss more often.

It’s why I didn’t say hello to her that time –

I’d already used forty nine.

 

Weyland’s headlight flits across debris

of Kubrick, Noé, and glassware stained rust,

crocheting neon purple stars in the dark room

until I remember that she’s about to smile.

This time, I point to the W embroidered

on my clothes, proof of my work,

to get her to let me see that beautiful thing

that tugs on the corners of her lips.

She points to Weyland behind me

and brings an invisible spoon to her mouth.

I am adjusting well.

I am.

 

It’s when she stops talking

that I know her limit has been reached.

I whisper I love you thirty two times

through swollen fingers that hold my mouth closed

to let me listen to her breathe for thirty two seconds after

until Weyland scrapes against that dimpled recess which

scatters her into a lattice of threaded light again.

 

A torch pops

and cracks at the heat of my waist.

I clasp my hands, eyes shut,

finding a pew in the bench.

I can picture rusted copper bullet nags

bucking and braying in gun smoke jackets,

the tremor quickening my heart

until I’m once again reminded what sleep feels like.

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