Our Movement Layered Transparently

Mouthing the distance
my communication with you,
who is the you if not everyone,

everyone from which moving away has occurred
Maybe you are still talking to me as I am you,
through my perspectives,

through the re-telling of your person to others
Pride co-mingling with the wounded,
a powerful truth

If you commit to a feeling it doesn’t waver
My commitment includes the variance,
is the characteristic of my love

Perhaps it moves like abandonment,
a self-check out, a tidy cohesive schedule,
and at the end we part ways

We travel but are not travelers,
conflated childhood memories without real estate,
friendly faces with the winding bodies of snakes


The hardest part is the beginning
The rest just unyarns
It is years
Years upon years
And these are only the ones that we have known
The future years yet to be realized
Here it feels progressive but difficult
It feels like the most we can do
But know that it is not
If we could say I am here with you
If we could say All of me remembers you
The body and the mind
You are with me
In my life at home you are with me
In those quiet times
When I am barely with myself you are with me
I am older but not that old as you say
You are older and starting to feel that way
I have never been here before but am still similar to you
This is also your first time here
You look great
Only slightly aged along the eyes
The best thing is that you will always be the you I remember
You will always be the penultimate
The shifting train before it stops


It can be hard to accumulate, how slow
A nothing space that you walk in for years
A green little nub of tomato
So insistent
Just being you and not really having anything else
Except that knowledge
And it isn’t really even knowledge
It’s some sort of metered compulsion
Forthwith branding
Forthright elementary
When it can’t be helped it can’t be helped
More or less the backtracking though
Sorting out your endless identities
Jesus, your identities
They do not have your best interest in mind
You will pose and smile and stare wistfully into the distance
You will say thank you and stand around
Wondering what it is that you should do with your arms, your hands, some idle displeasure

Jackie Clark

Jackie Clark is the author of Aphoria (Brooklyn Arts Press), and four chapbooks, most recently Sympathetic Nervous System (Bloof). She is the series editor for Song of the Week for Coldfront and small press editor for Boog City. She lives in Jersey City.

Photograph by Christie MacLean


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