The irony of a woman invisible to her
keeper, yet studied by the man
down the street. She wraps herself
in scarves and swaddling fabric to hide
her tiny frame, heads out for a stroll
of quiet contemplation. Questions manifest
from balmy air: a boulder of answers
forbidden to be asked for is found in her
path. The woman, slight in stature,
with eyes that engulf all things around her,
stands at its edge. Her hand timid with a terrifying
tremble to feel the cold touch of stone. A reach
with shaking fingers. But the stone is a marble that guides
the hands to embrace. Then she sits, pulls out her notepad
and begins to scratch pen to pad. I have to reach for you
with the resistance of fiber, the viscosity of liquid because my journey
is obstructed by these questions that will not move. Under
all of her hiding, every layer of cashmere and silk
peeled away, she has skin smooth as butter. Slick and soft,
she leans on the cool surface of the object
in her path. She imagines how she’d melt if touched
by the man forbidden from her by the ritual of ceremony.
Her skin takes the temperature of the stone she leans on.
She wonders if her name were to appear in ink, does it
wash off like smudges on his left hand. In the waves and bodies
of the surrounding universe there is no wrong, only she worries
she’s mistaken. Using her legs, she pushes all her weight
against the boulder. No use. Yet, the pull of her path
cannot stay blocked because it’s gravity pulling her in
the direction she’s going. So she writes more, I feel
the infinite meaning of these questions that halt me.
Every answer is lost. I am the only dying animal
I know. My body feels the draw of your lines.
So far from my reach, yet you’re so close
I could reach out to touch you. I can only embrace
these questions. I hope you do the same.
Sand slides forming scales over her shoulders.