On Being an Angel

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“Be wary.” Your fears I read like brail, goose bump code on a body I knew long before I first reached yours. Even the endless may have a beginning, a split second we will never understand. Where then would you hide?

Where are the black crows tonight, the broken glass, the omens? I blink once to clear my eyes.

Thermoluminescence dating, the determination of the time elapsed since a material last saw the sun; how I know I love you, the moonlight bather who will not pose as savior in my battle scene or his own.

(though I had the dream again last night, the house was burning brightly, the dinner party uninterrupted as the butler fanned the flames. I was the only one who ran out and you held me back as I stood naked on the warehouse roof, from a salted sea breeze beckoning me to fly).

He said there would be something else, some whiskey-breathed revelation. I like him like this, when he doesn’t say a word and I can fall into the soft-lipped void, and I fall proudly in the new fragility he has helped me craft to help me break.

The 2:58 am clawing of a telephone like a stranger’s back, like complacency when the double speaks to herself and I, the total I, the unsure shape shifter. My inner lives crave completion: my searching a transfixation; my avoidance, divination. I know why the telephone does not ring.

I will borrow his utensils. The teeth, the feet, the words collected like medallions. They will be dirtied by my touch but I shall cleanse them with the same.

(was I ever in your words? Was I a ghost, a spool of yarn unraveled, a baby’s skull?)

I am not frightened of the things you say but the things that shrivel before they reach your tongue, how they coexist

Stephanie Kaylor

Stephanie Kaylor is based in upstate New York where she is completing a MA in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is also a current MA student at European Graduate school, concentrating in narrative structure and desire. Though her musings are not political in content, she is an ardent supporter of activist causes, including sex workers’ rights and prison abolition.

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