Lynn Maleh


You – who are made of metal, fevering up, blasting mercury,
clatter like windy blinds, like chatter teeth, to tune
me on to you and I enlightened by the porous
stretches of each other. A knee, an elbow
to play in, sandboxes and pockets,
the dunes on which our limbs hinge.

We call for WD-40, the blue aerosol can quiet the hinge
noises of metal bed frames as you, Mercury,
messenger to the Gods, commerce in the pockets
which interrupt our skin. Your grip, hand or spoken, tunes
me towards you. Your snare: two elbows
locked around my stomach, while I expand and collapse, porous

to the room we make thick and sour, porous
in every rusty hinge –
even the dry undersides of our elbows.
Our muscles metallic, like mercury
are liquid at this room temperature. We tune
to each other; we pocket

our bodies in each other. Our bodies, infested with pockets,
breathing, open, our skins, porous,
we clamber in some kind of tune,
creating parallels and perpendiculars. We hinge
our bodies; we clasp geometric. Mercury,
planet, closest to the sun, nudge that sun. Elbow

her the way only you know how. Elbow
her as she fires up in her pockets.
silvery, toxic, liquid metal, only one spot porous
for you. It all hinges
on this, this tune.

This tune,
this harmony of knocking knees and elbows,
of greasing the hinge
so it will pull and press better towards a pocket,
is breathing, open, for you, porous,
for you, anything, Mercury.

Mercury, this tune,
porous, breathing, open. Elbow
twitching, now. Pocket tingling, now. Hinges, on my steadying breath.

Lynn Maleh is a short story writer, finishing up a Master of Professional Writing from University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles.
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