by Fran Wang ’12
From Latin, proprius: one’s own. The unconscious perception of movement and
-American Heritage Medical
They say that dogs are soulless.
Mine sleeps on his side and skitters after rabbits
or some such, the limbs of his own knowing stretch
and convulse, propelling him bound for bound
as he turns on the linoleum,
pinned and pivoted around his heart on the floor.
I, too, have chased and been chased.
I have run ragged and woke
thrashing, cold in the sudden
rediscovery of orientation
in the space you and I used to share.
We are both in love, I think,
In each human there exists
a secret memory of the ocean,
fluid spirals in the chambers of the ear.
It is here I perceive our component places
and angles and the space between us,
the inclination to face each other,
give chase like some darting rabbit.
We brush by each other in the space
of seven hours apart,
me perceiving you as you perceive me—
it is the order of one’s own,
stretched to fit two.
We anchor ourselves to opposite ends of the horizon,
focusing too intently upon waking
to hear what we ask of each other.
I go unanswered for now, like a good question.
Chapped and barbed, my winter skin,
and yours, pale spring,
we walk, shadows dragging through puddles.
Channeled winds push the sun down smooth glass faces.
Dusk, the energy of a city stirs.
Our breath catches charge and sparks,
hurtling one hand down the next, electricity
of taxi cabs and subway tracks jumping gaps
between our matching stride, pacing the Brooklyn Bridge like a comet
stretched over East River.
Nightfall, and our orbit is lit—
binary stars that spin gravity like thread.
We laugh in ellipses along dirty streets,
our sounds trail below, catching the tops of neon signs and
we float along, combing our hands through numbered streets.