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  • The static between us is magnetic -- ripe,
    About to erupt like a nectarine in August,
    Its mealy pulp pushing against taut skin
    Screaming in hues with names like
    Persimmon and alizarin.

    The negative space, the Not Us, threatens
    To break like an eggshell, molecules
    Already exploding audibly pop! pop! pop!
    And crack! Everything frozen in the single frame
    Of a comic strip, the speech bubbles empty.

    The moment teeters on its axis, unsteady
    In nature, it spins spins spins, a top –
    Do they still make tops? Suddenly
    There are Words again, and thoughts
    Of memories not yet made – lace, zippers,
    And the smell of morning.

    The static calms, pulling itself into a question
    Shaped like doubt, a word soft and round,
    But for its briar-like thorns that sting
    Like ethanol on an open wound.
    The colors threaten to change, but too late! –

    The moment cracks open along its crimson
    Fault line, flowers of every hue blooming
    In our mouths. Bang! Bang! Ka-pow!
    The explosion! of dandelion against breath.

    [Photograph by my sister, Anna Ivnitskaya]
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