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Correspondence Messenger
“—One wing has been washed in the rain
The other will never be clean anymore—”
—Mina Loy, “Songs to Joannes”

Scission 1 (Day)

To light, waiting for morning, between two things—her silent face, this rock, the ordinary meaning of sound. Blood, stone.

For her, flower’s reverence: come to me.

Caught the root from the middle of the river to meet her, met her. Action eternal, why so mad.

No entry.



Scission 2 (Tree)

This situation in which I am resting, unlikely to get away from—synchronicity in feeling depraved. For ugliness, she’s unhappy. Sitting in the room waiting. Dead, could I recover. Killed, did I kill, as others have done to, too.

No theme, time, in the thought of it. Forever, long trek away. Meanwhile, almost a mountain, meanwhile, killed.

Animal tongues slept out the night in the indentation, the backyard-morning.



Scission 3 (Image)

I cannot yet say. This hunger for—I cannot yet say. I want to say house. Field with pines, and to choose each thing in the picture. Not the same as ordination, snow coming gently down.

The world comes closer in because it is winter.

No snow.

I can barely remember. The body made invisible at night. Draw the bed, the curtain, place her there, naked. Put a slipper out for closing eyes. Vision, violent, as in awakening, ice stream with skin cut raw in the cold of it. Silence, you are dangerous of course.

Animals staring over their fence from the pasture.



Scission 4 (Garden)

Lost morning through tears, it was after-wet and overcast, yet he thought the perfect day, doubt, to what point, string him up on the.

Watered the lemon verbena, the tomato leaf dry, and beyond hope there is production. Yellowed in the less-light, I realize he’s superstitious—who’s there? To disclose the mistake of fervor into the regularity of trash. Who’s there?

Track the same mistake over and over, try to recollect with obsolete. Bent knee to wrong ritual, once again, to find nothing there, encyclopedic as I remembered. What is the line of time here? To look and look away, for, however, the same stillness, ochre, green with yellow dots.



Scission 5 (Fugitive)

Then for the night, made it here through the dense, the non-prolific. Followed forest feline across the lapping silver rock. Really it was the woods that split the trees to the mundane for a month or so. Nomenclature for, to get along with. For no quiet, take her without, Ovid’s poems.

He, wandered for a long time, and she, weaving as waiting, creation in delay, the ever-present forager. How could I, suitcases set in the wall as a way out, unexpected drunk and pale pink of a sweater. The barely blush of keep a mouth on kept beginnings. Inevitably, attracted to the bare, the spacious—full without.

How to make clean her sorrow of the floors in flooded woods.



Scission 6 (Mother)

Stuffed with documents for everything, she tore. I didn’t have to expurgate, expected silences of purple hill, for bled-out flower, these, theses, ours.

Sumac, river silt, recognition, my mom’s quasi-permanence of beach sands, faith in regular intervals of travel. Time additional, terminal cliffs, plastic on a roof on a hill. Planned for fall in through thin sieve, milkweed.

The woods were low and dense. I recognized a few mushrooms, mold on the edge, as I scurried through my own obsolescence. Cars along the road to do nothing, pass a cow.

Responsible in the blur, her figure ran through the corn again, menace trace of cackle. The woven spider sun, nerve pattern of valerian, the sun behind my eyes.



Scission 7 (Material)

What is this territory? Its nextness to me. Concord of shared sound, its nextness to me: mouth-bound. So it was myself in ecstasy, beside myself in the object-world and precious beyond it in another. Cages in a closet.

Who? Exemplary season as conceptual device. A description of weather for a moment more eternal than weather is. Lily pad pond release, o come to me, already industrious love.

Wilderness scant. But veil of woods you will suffice for a page of thought. Brush of pink life swept a face as a mother over, called after me, inestimable grief.



Scission 8 (Sleep)

Supernumerary book pile by the bed, rigor complete and left, the carousel the horses, officers on horses, statues of officers on horses, parkgoers feeding cookies to squirrels, yet eye and animal hands could be the joy of day, and low murky water, what we have been left with for love, exemplary.

Whisper in your ear on the park bench, ours, but beside the others. Sexual inside demonic fears, we go back to your friend’s apartment, nothing owned. Your hand on the train exchanged, to lay simultaneously, edict, complete, as much, asleep, thrust, sound, accompanied by the fan, beside me.



Scission 9 (Spring)

And even after—good luck with the heart, the pieces all pulling to their adequate tension, upwards pressure, flipped out, the fan on, rotational, circle around the pond backward, categorical.

Light goes on in solitude after—if you want to come to me, come to me knit,

heaviness under the plant-body, a deep green whose rotations, seasons, animal, my, missing remainder of earth, divided, tethered, as a frog’s tongue to, what’s it? Desire? The desire to eat

the gray of winter, the canoe false. Up the ladder, mess of swarm and insects joyously all over.



Scission 10 (Bloom)

At the edge I fled, as at the edge of the dead, a seed flows over.

I get away, the whole night a blue sheet and circle mirror, over as we merge.

Almost, for all time, but less, exact a portion, an entity of personality like an amorphous jewel found in long grass, or are you willing to be beside me. You, edge of course, like tracing along a mirrored corner, accepted to live but not to end the disguise of the corner’s inside what.

Patience settles downward. Root collapses skyward. The nutritive past coming from up.



Scission 11 (Narcissus)

What doesn’t suit is, I’m not supposed to spread. We both reach into our bags together. For no reason, vulnerability, you happen to be us. We’re completely red stain, station.

In the same scene entitled, enumeration, roof. Peak after peak of the narrow buildings’ aureole. Try tried out, the true enigma only intimated on the website. Would there be one? Drunk. Passengers of sameness, of the social—I love you. I love you, someone else saying it, ghost-vine to the mouth of my talking, next. Next.



Scission 12 (Word)

There is no—of prayer or even heart. Face marked, events turn. Articulate dark all day long, smoothed out the park bench, slept there through disaster.

It would mean so much to write, like out of my throat a beetle. She says, write me, like out of your throat a beetle. Blank lush. Drank wine out of a paper cup. Chime coincided, cusp.

Chirp-chirp, the garden—I’ll kill.

Chance improved without renovation, forever, chipping the parts. Were we meant, weren’t we meant, to be kept.



Scission 13 (Ophelia)

Reminded with a cough, wrapped in black, and they called the baby Felicity.

I want things to be better, a bee in a bit of clover, but also embarrassment, that things are bad: exactly like that, the public walking in front of galloping rose serpents, a series of arches on which they are trained. In the self, it is the self as a friendly enemy, who we love. Who we love, in the self of the mother who holds the baby on the cherry esplanade and loves it. The bounding roses, trunks of the cherries lined up.

An unbuilt building seen on a lot cast with flowers, but I look up and the stars are covered in scars here, pocks of rust-brown muddiness. Shooting star scars, and the mother seems—to affirm this.

Stream through the back of town, the water violet to reflect light as prayer came. Tender water sounds. Undivided. Undivided.

Undivided undivided.

Jen Burris’s work has previously appeared in Asymptote. She lives in Vermont.