Robin Wyatt Dunn
We shouldn’t care, not yet; we’re not ready to care, for however close you may come we have methods in place and reasons, filed carefully, in black and white, love not yet, and not too soon, and never in its right place, not this hour, not this year. All the leashes we have left we are tightening down, ants over the carcass of the nation, Lilliputians over the great body, hips and curls, to secure the prize . . . but we little mean men and women, driven mad, locked in futile work and made naked under the storms and winters and exhaust of the century, no longer know how to make use of this body of desire: each hour, and each minute, starved of affection and reason, made into the tools of our masters like so many gaskets in the engine of despair, revving up, 60 rpm, 70, 80, 90, and now five thousand: to know just how it is, and what must be the shape of its nearness, sliced and delivered by the deli man luscious and paper-thin, sweet-scented and still just arduous enough, after each disaster winnowing its shape to peer through the hole in the wreckage and determine the right method of escape, and the quickest method of return, to your body:
the timing itself can bring us to it, nearing the ultimate decision, not of marriage or sex or reconciliation, divorce, argument or exile but merely ennui, thicker than butter, crammed over your face like a terrible helm, yet so necessary to its work, in the timing belt of love, to rear and regard the self with a modicum of wherewithal, to know just what is it, and where we are, and what kind of thing is happening, over however great a distance, we keep love alive in the imagination—perhaps it is born there as well—and locked tight in the body, a slug in the gut, shocked and shaken deep under the folds of your skin and the limpid leisure of your bones, majordomo of desire:
the leash, if slack, still holds us close in its embrace, to say, once again: not yet—not just yet, however desperate insane the shape of love has become, no matter how necessary or nearby, and no matter what shape it threatens to take. Not just yet, though it be true and honest and even serene, because to move too soon would be to break this shell and spell of despair, like the ice combs over Superman’s livid corpse, and the bonds over Gulliver’s body, riotous and new, raging against the meaningless enforcement of laws which cannot even be read, and though its exigencies are written into the body in blood and ash and fire and salt all of its presences in their delivery mark the soul with its righteous energy, to recreate the spell of your doom and dark denial and then release the body, hunter over the wood, to the armaments and dreams of your every desire:
Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. He is a graduate student in creative writing at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. You can read more of his work at robindunn.com.