Two Collaborative Poems by Danielle Rose and Bailey Grey • Empty Mirror

ten / credit: deten+ / credit: de

bootcfg /rebuild

i have to believe i am pulses counting to one / & so i imagine
the damage a pair of wire-cutters could inflict / because i have been told
the mind is a processor / & so i process myself like a sleeve of crackers
or an application that was rejected / because what is a human
but this concept of multiplication / i am not singular i am a bathhouse
a pool to wash away sin / the mechanics of archimedean displacement
as applied to the body itself / it counts & keeps counting until (

i learn a new language : the word sin must be redefined : my errors
reconciled : i bundle every permutation of particles & try to name it
god : she is the water damage when i’ve spilled out of bounds : the gentle
hum of fans : wind through wires : i can’t stop my hands from shaking
as i mend the zeroes : tame the ones : speak to the bits of life & coax them
to compile : then i sit with my own salinity : raw & achingly human) —
elevated to the vagueness of software / i saturate the concrete

i dream i am the mercury-atlas 9 mission

& i am circling the earth 22 times / surveying my body like a satellite / i want to peer through a tiny porthole and bid the stars to step a little closer / this capsule strapped with air & bread & a need to come home / it is the hard shell for the soft flesh i inhabit / the vacuum would boil 60% of me if given the chance / slowly tug apart my matter as i bloat & purple / because if the vacuum could speak / if it told us it was lonesome / if we decided to stay & make a new home / in nothing but circling 22 times / before crashing into the ocean / we still could not embrace / only float together in silence / because to hurtle beyond the slow gradient / our atmosphere / punched in the stomach / breathless / without speech

About Danielle Rose

Danielle Rose is a poet whose work can be found in The Shallow Ends, FIVE:2:ONE, Sundog Lit, Pidgeonholes, Glass Poetry, and elsewhere. She studied with Carolyn Forché at Skidmore College and lives in Massachusetts. Her debut chapbook, at first & then, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. She tweets @danirosepoet.

About Bailey Grey

Bailey Grey is a non-binary, bipolar software developer living in Virginia with their grumpy old cat. Their work has been published in Crab Fat Magazine, Dovecote Magazine, Ghost City Review, and Kissing Dynamite, and they were a finalist for Sundog Lit‘s Summer Collaboration Contest (2019). They can be found on twitter @BaileyGWrites.

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