ARDOR Literary Magazine

ARDOR Literary Magazine - Issue One, Jan. 2013

Issue One, Published January 2013

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Page 34 of 73

STRETCHING by DAVID ZAZA One by one, I knew all the words. Until nothing was unrecognizable. I turned the objects in my hand, put them down on flea market tables, knowing exactly what each thing was and what it did. I rummaged and dug to find the mysterious part, to handle the subtle machinery that exists outside my profession, experience and education. The molded Italian plastics smoothing in hand, the antique personal effects of past souls who lived unfathomable lives, these had their place and knowable purpose. Overly designed forks and spoons, so many books in other languages, pointless details of objets d'art, all within my realm of understanding. Mystery had dwindled to charm -- just exotic curves of turtle bones in my mouth, bulbous and strange, but unmistakable. But now to sit and weep with wonder at the arrangement of my own objects resting on an uneven floor, to witness an ever-settling house, to wake up again and feel powerless and ignorant at last, to sense something beyond the unlikeliness of the arrangement, I stir and feel my stomach grind. Everything is familiar. Everything apparent. But marked with the finality of impossible questions. I stretch my life over this armature of possessions, falling back clumsily into the rocking chair. I move forward for some new things, roll backward to adjust to others. Is this a freedom earned only by the humble? Leaning into the room, pausing. Turning once to look behind me. Seeing the room -- only the room. Not one word. *We recommend reading this poem outside of text-only view due to formatting concerns.

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