Eppure Si Muove

[Essay #2 for ENGL 215, in the style of Lia Purpura.]

Here is what I did with my body one day: I fan-folded, needle in arm. My brain? Kept me breathing, seizing. The entry was massive Mount St. Helens, no longer latent, gray ash excluding outwardly. I was a hot fogged globe, a great silence interrupted, rushing winds, metal tart, pepper before sneezing, the only casualty, the s-wave, confined, silent.

My counselor recently told me about his client suffering from insomnia rippled from a childhood climacteric. He is flying in to retrieve her, to drop her off in a reframed past. She asked her father at the low elevation of her days about after death, and he pointed up to “oblivion.” Her immature cartography wisely mapped destination to nothingness. If she went to sleep and never woke, it would be, she believed, a black place she could fear in.

It is not.

Nothing is. Not me. No body and nobody knows.

The exit was a Pollock, dripping wet until I spied his dry footprints beside the canvas. The p-wave survivors above me with dumb looks as my taking form smarted made sure I didn’t swallow my tongue. “You fainted,” the nurse stated, and I have no idea. In my absence my history belonged to her. I never knew I moved! Such was the entry and the exit that in between I demand a daughter who doesn’t pay seventy-five dollars per hour to be sent back to her elderly father so he can assure her he did not intend her waking detour.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype and is forthcoming from The Laurel Review. A piece of flash fiction is forthcoming from Cold Creek Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published online at Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files.” Richard is also Downlink Lead for HiRISE at the University of Arizona.