Tendon

            There’s never been any doubt in my mind of that. I’ve always felt that I could reach out to you at any time, reaching for and then reaching you, that thing which remains within and out of reach. Some things don’t warrant an explanation. The muscle makes sense as a thing which moves but the tendon remains inexplicable. Holding on to that crumbling ledge, tumbling down hardly trying, counting down to the end of futurity where the potential releases itself all at once and the object climbs back into its conditional self, its situational millions, and the verity construct goes down.

Callus

            My mother had no answer to this and other potent questions, but she knew how to face them as facts; the grit in the grain of the sliding glass door, the padding of undressed feet and burning hair in the bathroom. Halfway to the county line now, be there by nightfall. Kudzu watching back at us, goats on the ground with the worms and the chicken legs. We needed dowels so we went to the hardware store, dragging the big bundle behind us in the dirt, spinning up dust and other fomites. Spot the dogs: sleeping on the porch, dead in the gutter. Long days to long endings, long processes—accretion.

Knuckle

            Ring-wearing comfort in the house of no distinction brings the woodcutter something to spare. The time lapse fails and the picture blurs and the subject withholds its location. There are things that work in tandem in intricate and generally illegible ways. It was like a field or something, a tree-line outside my window, and there was something to do with a bird, something unsettling, a crow raping a cat, was that it? That doesn’t sound possible. Crows don’t rape cats, that just isn’t done, nevermind the idea of the tree-line and the hollow moon, which rings like a bell when it quakes and which weathers enough wreckage for both of us.

Brow

            The day wears on, sleep is still a long ways off and then, night gone, day wears on again. Night was stolen by the workthief and if not for the biological processes it wouldn’t exist at all. These things are still a long ways off. On a dark enough night you might notice lights in the distance if you look right, and if you pull back the curtains you might find a big naked ape looking back at you. In wetness compliant, those innermost moments where nothing is lost and the breadline dissembles, don’t forget to replenish. Themes of waste and water, the matter of wastewater. The brought-on, the fear of penetration, the dismal temperature, the hot water north of Greenland. You want my opinion? Double-knot your laces and march right back out of history.

Vellus

            It’s friction itself that got us here. There are catfish born in caves who climb walls, and a boiling river in the middle of the jungle, and if you measure up just right you’ll see for yourself how the plan plays out. No sense smoothing anything out. No sense waiting young. The motion between things stays engaged and the surplus seeps back into the air, surplus surrounds us. Double-on and pull your hair back out of the shower drain. Claimed and unclaimed spaces. Thinking of trees, how they move up and around mountains until there’s no more to go, and then they stand still. Body heat. Amelioration. Molt and shed, the fabricated dance card, watered-down waiting list. I nicked myself and went on bleeding, and in the house of dawn that day we mattered, so we stayed.

Daniel Uncapher holds an MFA from Notre Dame, where he is the 2018 Sparks Fellow. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chicago Literary Review, Tin House Online, Baltimore Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Neon, and others.

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