& When We Walked Away [1]

Only 5 minutes into it,
You cry.
You are plugged into a microcosm
Generous with darkness.

& when we walked away—we were hurt. We were walking like a beetle on the side of a landscape situated in feeling. Everything leaves or nothing leaves—that you want. A fetus is replaced—with terror—wind—apathy. An afterbirth of anxiety—about the strange circumstances—you find yourself in. You're crying—hiding in some outdoor government kiosk—where the projector is kept—surrounded by pines—like a kind of name you're hiding from others. No one wants your disasters. You don't even want yourself. You certainly don't want what you can hold inside yourself. Or if you do—you can't keep it—not in any way that matters.

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& When We Walked Away [2]

You exist much more forcefully than we do because you are heightened by dialectical experience—a stillbirth—this motion of slowing down. You are raindrops like the pattern on the surface of a windshield—like looking through someone's skin to the outside world. Patterns aren't dense in a repository of surfaces—merely transgressive. Transgressive marks many boundaries—none of which are discordant. To transgress is an open term aimed at somewhere specific. To transgress means to disturb in the best circumstances.

You start to wonder how the body transgresses itself in everyday function—if asthma is transgressive to the ideas of what breath is. You wonder—if illness is transgressive—does it push boundaries somewhere in the body—boundaries are like walls and must be pushed against to be purchased. You wonder what subtle barriers exist in the body to keep you from seeing illness as a kind of purchase your body made to exist exterior to other people's bodies.

You realize the body was waiting for this to happen. You realize the body isn't surface but microscopic gestures. You realize the body inhabits space—and that approximates volume like Archimedes bathtub experience. Approximated volume is approximated surface. It becomes a definable surface you can compare with other surfaces. Comparison is rudimentary but we treat it like it's a stable project. Comparison is rudimentary like a transistor radio—gets good signal to Russia. A way of knowing things is to trace around an object to approximate its shape. You are in a microcosm generous with darkness—while out branch your ribs—

Survival strategies are merely a form of approximating distances between events—

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Hannah Rodabaugh has an MA from Miami University and an MFA from Naropa University. She is the author of three chapbooks. She's had poetry in Anti-Narrative Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, ROAR Magazine, Horse Less Review, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Wire's Dream Magazine, among others. She’s received grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the Alexa Rose Foundation.