Act Now

If the flowers decline to tell the bees why
they are tasked with stretching the thread
of continuance all the way to the garden’s edge
—or why they must adumbrate its shaky lace
even in the face of hard hands or a wet
summer—then why should we have to move

so far from this godly meadow, one move
shy of the brutallest checkmate? At the Y
I watched your legs resist equipment, wet
like the dogs no one shakes or the thread
no one can make go into the needlelace
because it’s borderline, too near an edge

to manipulate. If I ask you to edge
before I get home it’s because I move
too slowly anyway—I want to lace
your bones with shimmering desire, the why
to want’s what, the unhidden thread
we lay bare in the rich, soily wet

of mid-May, our brief spring’s groaning whet-
stone. Who brought us to the edge
of living? Which forum thread
told us the exact dimensions of the move
we needed to make, and why
on earth didn’t we tell anyone? Two lace-

less cleats, cast up high in the one place
you’ll never be able to reach them. A sweat
ring wrung permanent in the bedclothes. Why
not fool around a little before work, at the edge
of our shared wakefulness? Don’t move,
I’ll turn off this seemingly endless thread

of alarms, your morning body’s warmth red
and breathing next to mine. If my place
in the universe were at even a small remove
from yours, my ugly heart would pirouette
out across the roof of the world to a ledge
off which I’d leap / towards you. This is why

I’m so afraid to thread your wet
hair anyplace but through mine. The edge
is too close to move. I hope you see why.


By Nathanielle Dawn

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