It looked like acrimony
like impatience and gratuitous, bony
betrayals. It sounded like calls
cut short, shoutings in corridors, partial
apologies followed by sarcasm,
niched little silences for years, in terrorem
clauses, and the thrust of
more non-followings-through. So it was love
in process, stubborn love
using the engines of de-love
along the routes toward whatever re-love
there might be sudden room for. The shove
from side to side: we were
girl-boy-girl-boy siblings, four,
trying quotidianly all our lives
to divide, with a blunted knife,
the single pea of parental
affect. It would all look, then, like maul
and mess, decade after decade of unclearness.
But it was always love, it was dearness,
For each of us,
to get a unique-enough location
would be something like performing the eversion
of a sphere, for which an hypothesis
and imagination are required. Four successes
of a sort did arrive with that — professionalisms
and non-insane citizenships, with our schisms
acknowledged and loudly called across
before the end of living. Too, there was
the occasional mutual moment of clarity
about the rules of living, which apply themselves with charity
rarely, rules austere as axioms.
It was, finally, curved parallel lines — each in a motion
made of love, which has to exclude the reverse —
that meet on the far side of the universe.
Note: Turning a hollow sphere inside out without making a crease or hole in the object remains in the realm of mathematical formula and computer simulation. In one model, the north and south poles pass partly through each other, twist into two loops at the equator, then untwist while moving to the opposite pole position.
Diane Furtney has had poems and translations appear in the Kenyon Review, VQR, Stand, Notre Dame Review and elsewhere. She is also the author of Murder at the MLA and Daffodils for the American Garden. She works in the Plant Biology Department at the Ohio State University and had translations of Gerard de Nerval appear previously in MR.
Copyright 2005© Diane Furtney