Michelle Pierce


[The letter begins again.] Dear someone. Only a few hours since you’ve left. [I’ve forgotten the address: an harbor, an archipelago. Somewhere in Nagoya, perhaps.] Can’t sleep. Went for a walk and found a postcard too narrow to hold much of anything. I wanted to say I drew this map. [Up and then in.] But coral stamped on the edge is a dead giveaway. [Which is certainly no excuse.]

[One third of one third is trust.] Our axis spinning, a tilt. You moved [and were formatted] against the call of a bird, like ibis. [His ink.]

[He sleeps like an anchor most every night. Surveys the cliff, the estuary at task. Worries about the rupture of meridian, prime and otherwise.]

No reason for worry, but people suddenly make themselves scarce. Moving to a new place is hard, especially when the current, halfway between cell and ledger, delivers the strait’s disappearance. [A window into gaijin snow.] Never quite sure how to tell you this so it will have resonance. Reinvent the shoal, the she, the crux of the V. The solstice will be kind to you. [You crack your knuckles as I lengthen.] [The yakuza hears this.]

In Satsuma, they had a compass that lead the way—a vaulting of chatter. Nippon will show you strange and alien things—they’ll become a part of you. [A single route: an island in this hemisphere as though she were walking in circles.]

Genki? [She waits for his response, which more than mock is imitation. Wondering how the equator will deviate.] [Hold tight.] You haven't even left yet.

[Insert How to Triangulate]


                                         to be virtuous





Something about the way he sees her stammering the

words: she she falsetto a cappella.


                               to create an imprint






Together they decipher the hypnosis. Replicate the

geometric rain. He continues to speak until bark

changes context into gesture.


                                                     to end





Their anthropological digs break peace such as a Bach

sonata is an area with boundaries: both in translation.


                                    to yes, then to lie






But her moods feel like the stain of excavated pears. He, now humble, watches while she crosses and uncrosses her legs. No hesitation. Just a calculation of time.


           to section and other acts of theft








He arranges a new idea under the vegetation. Neither on




 to empty an era, shred all peas and cues









But no one ever anticipated they would draw a curve of

their lives away, that standing in their hooves steeping

Muslim soup like the people in Ghana would make her

ache under what felt like added weight.


to cage, a diatonic unasking

Though less violent than the typography of fallen leaves

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