from the canine cycle
Every room has a door that leads directly to 4 pm. Sinking, half-lit, a distant plover, a pale blue wall paper. On the stove is a pot of boiling water. Every thought has a door that leads directly to 4 pm, the slanted rays of the sun, the tv screen and matted carpet. I watch from above, my body dispersed, and time opens up like a web.
The summer when I am five I lose my two front teeth so I have to start biting my nails with my canine tooth on the right side. I chew my nails habitually, and before my front teeth can grow back I have already worn my right canine to a flat nub, all the way to the nerve. It throbs and I part my lips to run my tongue over the place that hurts like a metal shock.
The body writes itself. The brain is just tissue. 4 pm as a conduit, as an orbital. Every electrical impulse lingers the same as the twitching muscle in my calf. Every mouth opens into muted daylight, to let silence flow in. To play dead is to be untouchable. I open a door into water. I open a door into dust. To calculate loss. First, my canine tooth on the right side, and then the ability to speak beyond a whisper.
I open a door into static. I open a door into a stranger’s lap. I open my mouth into nothing and close my eyes into nothing and time opens into nothing like 4 pm like a reservoir. A door off its hinges. An opening into bone. A fingernail slammed into the jamb peels back revealing more surface. Inch by inch, seconds tightening into a chalky line. Touching and pale clotting salt and blood, I taste nothing.
In the loop of remembering I write the room ephemeral as an organ. In the loop of remembering I keep lapping at desire & the function of remembering is to displace touch. In the loop of endless afternoon I move and then graze fresh against flesh. Time skips and borrows and I am displaced.
In the loop of touch I keep unwanting until it is so much that I am double: a body of wanting and a body of unwanting. I create wanting anywhere I have haunted unwanting. In the loop of blue I tuck seconds away then I peel wallpaper & I save it like flat raspy tongues. I press it against me & someplace in between I move a hand to remember.
Elizabeth Kolenda is a poet and MFA candidate at Louisiana State University. She has served as Editor in Chief for New Delta Review and tweets @partyantithesis. Her work has appeared in YES Poetry, Peach Mag and Burning House Press.