Essay
Mattering
Alice Heyward Megan Payne


Mattering


Turn taking


I tie my self and pass it

to you

red velvet rope


lets a room into a corridor

largeness enters smallness
at the mouth like breath
bubbling down,
light, nudging the in-betweens
and pouring high
over head,

rope’s busy in a death swing,


the name we call

you
raise our air,
our hands, our minds to meet your rhythm
as two vipers
lasso figures of eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two
of us
pan through space

so long,


remember ropes can’t move on their own.

I hold the weight of a bollard between my legs.

On my back with effort

I lay a floating arrangement,
for you
for effort to pass through
as you overlay my stretch
my soles push your base high
and in reply
you rest your head in the crook of my neck.

In any case,


solid

and still

you move me.

To be clear

I am not propositioning you
with something as strong as speech and I don't need to open my mouth
but in our sequence of making offers may I give you a hug?
My offer is my hand closing around you and you’re willing to come
because remember,

bollards can’t move on their own.

But now I’m threaded to your offers,

as yet unknown and in that sense equal,
like tomatoes tinned in their own blood, bladders peeled out of others, skinned and ensnared
and showing teeth.

The next is always opening.




Pick me up and spin me as a coin,

into coins that glint fountains.

Let us magnify.

Shrink and stretch in response.

We see atoms weaving like ripe buds,

wheat grains holding onto wheat stems blowing in the wind,

moving in unison and rhythm,


shadows vibrate as dots.


Zoom, and we see less and less.


Details shell, into a vacuum.


Wind down the slot and spot something tiny moving about,

also leaving.

One

two tapping

over and over the polished floor to find gravel in the song,

for taking,
each piece is tendered
and tossed

by the ground.


The cool of surface is only made up, heat passes through touch.






In order of appearance

Video still: Hugh Thomson

Video still: Robert Frantzeskos

Video still: Robert Frantzeskos

Video still: Robert Frantzeskos

Video still: Hugh Thomson

Image: Sarah Landro

Video still: Hugh Thomson