The Shared World

Vievee Francis

Into the bow of your ear, I whispered the secret story. Now you can’t sleep either. Consider it

part of your own memory, it connects our childhoods that would have otherwise never crossed —

I fell down your knee was scraped; I stuffed the yellow cake into my mouth and your stomach

cramped; when you were abandoned grief filled my well — the private ravages

of our spent youth, and adulthood now implicitly intimate. You want to pull me to you

because I have already softened your sharp elbows. I might have sucked the lobe of your ear

though so many have you wouldn’t recognize me there. The pressure of your fingers in my

shoulder leaves a firm impression, as if in need I had touched myself.

We are insomniacs. The grip of the night freeing us from the slept-through day and its demands.

Once you know, you can’t unknow, so we ruminate on literature and the Gods and continually

seek the ousia of the emptied jug (or the ever-luminous cherry at the bottom of a looking glass).

We are not pretentious in the slightest, we need no wine but are eager to get on with it, and will

take in or do whatever forwards the living, this conversation (this trip-wire) keeping us tied kite

to string, present to past, arrow to quiver.

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