eyes on / horizon by Emilie Kneifel • Empty Mirror

torn from a frantic nap into my perch in the corner. drowsy stare makes a masterpiece. the shadow paint. candied branch drip. white shoes on wet grass that glow like a fizz.

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today’s forgiveness: / measure day by the rain instead of by light.

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/ can never sleep until let go of my hand, until lover roll over. proximity-of keeps me defined in relation to. / shallow dream to be in the way.

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two: / wore a hat to a restaurant, mouth set. / clasped my hands. understood performance of godness.

fourteen: a mother’s sickness. enormous looming. whale belly passing overhead. but also somehow inscrutable, like the feeling that, even if watched, acne blooms are uncatchable. (why time lapses feel like a cheat.)

fourteen: instagram. controllable microcosm. cleanly defined by.

(a cheekbone glimmering in a beating room. attractive insofar as / attracted. another verb clasping for clasping for object.)

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twenty: invisible unraveling (“but you don’t look ___” chorus). at this point, / knew performance could misrepresent, even, especially, back.

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so, disappearing, / disappeared.

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windows the way my mom leaves the door. but / can’t smell the rain beyond pillow. beyond hair sliced off. still a shudder. like suitcase clothes worn for a life.

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first palms touched. glass between.

but quickly, like a runaway kid brought to a diner, when asked what would you like?
eyes filled with whipped cream, hands sticking to menu, myself awe-said, “everything.”

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(we don’t order all at once or we’d ache. but we come back and accumulate. the way players steal bases: settling, settling, static electricity until it’s safe to kick quick through the dirt)

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L says it takes strength to be reborn, so we stay a secret, don’t call ourselves / just eyes just hopping from window perch into street rivers. the joints of the storm wetting whetting calibrating into clap that takes two hands at least, a howl, a sky all light, then dark again. the day.

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