Experiment: Variable Constant

October 13, 2017


You finally fell in love, I see.  

– Salo  



to tear himself apart. It came to me  

in a dream I forgot;  


a misplaced postcard, where I tore  

myself together, part  


by part. Outside the ship, sirens choired,  

their mouths rang like harbors, offering 





safe silence. You came to me in  


a life I forgot; a displaced dream,  

where we danced behind our eyes  

to stay warm in the trembling blue  

sunset exhaling goodbye to us 


in a bed we didn’t share, but where 

I stayed awake to your hypnagogic  

quivers; a buried impulse  

from when we were made  





of loud noises. It came to you a replaced memory;  

an ocean losing its estuary. I have been  


a problem, these moments convulsed  

at your delving into my math,   

organs trade with numbers, numbers  


count your fingers handling the small,  

metal rib you were told you were made from 


from me, you can stab it 

back into my stomach, reassemble,  

as some watcher in the sky follows you  


sketching my retinas –us trading eyes is too  

graphic– we press tongues, I catch  


your laughter in my mouth, my tears 

on your lipcusp: our faces made 

pornographic for no one else’s  


pleasure, the glances we sneak each other  

as God, away, looks back,  





rapt. I came to you in a vision  


you didn’t believe. I told you  

the fictions of your life as they found  


the nons, I taught you to see your future as  


if it weren’t already set (but it is). The slow  

seconds of inhaling, cells conspiring  


to unmake you, the past dreams  


of darkness where a star will  

one day shine: a mother, a father,  


a child, feeling the years brink  


(or bless) on meaninglessness  

as Huygens descends. Salo begins




Ella Flores is an M.F.A. candidate at Northern Michigan University. She is an associate poetry editor for Passages North and has poems published/forthcoming at Cider Press Review, Fifth Wednesday, and Foothill Journal.



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