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by Robert M. Detman

Now that you have done what you did not ever expect to do, amongst the din and warble that seems to prevaricate upon your life like a smooth wily salamander, as if action had adjuncts, had analogues, as it were, in nature, in common lowly experience--a plant shaking its fist at you. The summer heat dwells and dribbles all over resolve, settling like waves of shiny heat and separating you from common sense. It is then you recognize that where you were before is not to be mentioned, should be filed away into the aberration category; or, better still, slipped out of the file and dropped surreptitiously into the nether regions of the file cabinet's hermetic metal tomb. Because you give away your arms, legs, body, head, mind, but it's really not like giving yourself away, little chunks are not left behind, you do not resemble a lego figure, pixellated at a distance. You have done nothing wrong, though you know better, which means, you were a soft substitute for some lessening of the self, a weakness, when it is weakness that we all try to make amends for and acknowledge in each other when we are not quite up to dealing with it (life). Just like the uncontrollable spin that breaks upon the ease and routine and sends you seeking help, pressing the call button, waving down the stranger (hoping humanity wide), making an uncontainable fire, closing your eyes, not letting the mouths touch, not letting the soft parts part and mingle, not acknowledging how you were at other times a kind of second choice, a default option, though when it comes down to it the other might admit of the same inclination, as we are human, as we are animal. And toiling with good cause, you recover quickly from the spoiled seed of your youth and despair, the unremarkable trembling, you do not take as much in, you do not take as much to heart, though you know the mind and its delirious spin will not send relief until damnation and ludic confessional of ink on paper reveals your spoils. You will not surrender the gifts of your orbit until you have managed it, transformed it into a thousand crystalline re-tellings, until it becomes the story of your life and thus the one you became, the one you hear in your daily passage, now surprised at your fortune, amused at your perspicacity, bored by what is required of you, forgetting the baubles you have already cast into the world and so must continue to re-enact, re-visit, re-store to their original condition, because you never figured out that you change only by not changing as much as you change by real, dramatic and undeniable surprise. You cascade, you flow, you wait for cool days to remember and settle, quiet, lethargic, into your rift pools under somnambular skies in Northern climates. You are not easily removed from everything you flaunt your conviction for, you are not unscathed as you sail down rock strewn rivers, through boulders and caverns of ice, in tremulous runnels and quiet dispersion, widening slowly into clean sunbright air, or winter licked moonlight, you do not see the wholeness in the enterprise, but knowing you are part of a little that you are part of the greater whole, and such passage is not unique, though it terrifies, pre-occupies and apprises in a flowering of revision and invention and unimpeachable change. You will feel it come into you and reduce you to a well of nausea, you will feel it struggle to come out of you at the most inappropriate moments, you will hold on regardless, for that plural divides forever from never, always again. You will know that each once again leaves you, however re-tattered, more able to go again, you will call this irony though it is more like destiny. You turn into the ark, a dove, the salamander, an apple. You rock, flit, dash and turn incessantly into the unknown.

About the author:
Robert M. Detman, a resident of San Francisco, received an MFA from Goddard College in 2006. He has contributed to The King's English, Kitchen Sink, The Pitkin Review, NewCity, The San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere.

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