by Emily Skillings
Empty and half awake
I met my exchange cousin for the first time,
found her services to be almost reliable,
rode the Minnesota bride to the very top of feeling.
I came, waited and contemplated almost nothing,
was forced to leave after nobody showed up
to the mouth-to-mouth party.
It was almost an hour ago to the second.
It’s like those circulated myths about imperceptibly small
yet incredibly dense objects sinking through
an entire apartment complex, five or eight
consecutive living room floors,
to hover in the basement’s single bulb.
I’m coming to a curve in this logic.
The line flows itself into a chamber shape
only to swerve, douse my walking project
in ground stimulants, and dissolve.
I walked past the middle class nausea
of patchy, poorly-seeded lawns
walked into the depressed shopping mall
where each item gets its own store, price tag
and uniformed guardian, past the woman
who was hurled forever into public,
who dies each day in the same footprints.
I walked and imagined a dock into permission.
I walked up to a building
that advertised a Flower Chamber
of insurmountable beauty on its glass façade.
I looked between my feet and saw a cobblestone
and on that cobblestone was a small gold placard
and on that small gold placard was an engraving,
which hinted at the address of the building.
Here, Right Here
Apartment Building Building
Bulding Area, New Building
Emily Skillings is a dancer and a poet. She is the author of two forthcoming chapbooks:Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear). Skillings dances for The Commons Choir (Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik) and presents her own choreography in New York. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series. She recently co-curated the exhibit “John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things” with Adam Fitzgerald at Loretta Howard Gallery. This fall she will begin her graduate studies at Columbia University.
Photo: empty crosswalk by Daniel Gonzalez Fuster | 2009