Refuges, Montauk

Maura R Pellettieri

No body is a dream
of anybody else’s. I listen to you
trying to come in. I like to hear the bell,
which is the sound of a gap
in an opened frame—how quiet here
between us you are. I’m twisting
toward the pathetic rim of understanding
again. Together, by some untorched
faction of molecular content, we had a remembrance
or a vision of everything that exists
en toto—all intelligence a circle—or whatever the politicians say,
and then your cabin developed
into a story I had written, long-exposure.
But I didn’t look at it again. I wanted to remain
like I was all four walls. You win, said
no one, gleaning to a wall. Love stories
usually have nothing to do with
love. Another way of saying, two
sorrowful masters were not alone
in their thick understandings of what makes a house
fall. None of the pieces pathetic. None
of the understandings reliant
on the living. The house was a form
in the land we lay upon,
or the house was any form in any land,
for as every form approaches dust,
there is no diamond answer, or
in this occupied bell,
we tried to belong to the chasm
of the taken,—

We were still properly nothing, anchored
to historical tides and the basics of
each other’s breathing and then things slipped up
to the ceiling. We could not remember if that
had happened already. I learned
about thought-forms after
deciding to, then I too slipped
up. I could not remember if
that was unavoidable. In air, at low height,
beneath your golden varnished
rafters, the former couple’s names
scarred upon the wood, something licked my
soul: there was no dust above you, a fact
made you magi, but I did not believe—
I could—could I be one? of these fateful
fattened things you mastered? for some time,
I had not been a believer. So I put my
palm on your chest. Intelligence
was still a circle. You were on the bed,
not in fixed form. I was the visitor, probably
mutably. This meaning bodied itself in me
as if all my existence had been walking toward
the point of someone else’s knowing: arrival,
unbelonging, hovering. How many bodies
now had we been blessed to hear
pealing? How many sounds had we birthed or
buried? The bodies and the sounds—
some dead, still echoing—they wanted my
frame opened. To deplete what I’d been arcing
blindly. I wanted to deliver all the facts
to shore or else purge my earthly body and live
in the certain absent feelingness of penetrable
water. But all the facts is not intelligence; feelingness
only my usual longing for coldness, water ultimate
winter. Even with mammoth warmth of your blood
to the surface, and other types of rising,
I could not get a reading. Or my palm had forgotten
the subject of its question. You had a bottomless
psychic nature but the crucial code hidden;
stiff, pressurized numbness, a near-mechanized
tarot. Then I remembered your meters,
stenching tokens all around us
of what lengths you swim daily—

                                                      the whiskeys, your wetsuit,
                                                      four forgotten towels molding on
                                                      the body of a shark—

an absent sea on absent
shore, revolving out. An end

                                    internal, bound to corners of
                                    an endless shore—

I like to hear you trying
to come in, which is the sound of a gap
in an open flame. My life is only
when the ocean has gone inside you
and the salts of our hours
are bones.

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