moving still

When I start to see my thoughts I know I’m almost asleep and these waking-images -almost-dreams keep me at a threshold, a membrane that will/can/may/inevitably be ruptured creating a deluge of movement, but in the meantime I am held in that place where all I can do is move to not move to not upset to not spill something that can’t be put back so I don’t cross over or puncture, but instead feel myself shifting thoughts to shift my shape and feeling(s) to not embarrass or blame, but stay in the place before, still and not static suspended and not floating but fervently here holding myself and holding you while I feel you shift towards sleep and watch your mouth go slack and I don’t dare take this as permission to move but permission to watch and wait for you to descend a little deeper as I pretend to fall with you so that you can feel us in unison and so that I can leave you and this queen sized bed, but not yet, because it’s too soon and I will fracture the hush and if I don’t move the right things I will be able to slide out from under you and off the edge of the bed where I lay like a sarcophagus knit in towards you with great effort and I know the way out is to slide along my body, because it is made up of ramps and incrementally my absence will not be felt and your body can continue to unfurl and reorganize and turn like the hands of a clock, and when I return I will ramp back in again wishing I had more space and knowing that I don’t and won’t, but also sanguine in the fact that I have learned to sleep soundly on the edge and then we are all there each of us who do this ritual all at once on a too green field in a stadium filled with queen sized beds covered in Merimekko sheets (my grandmother Elizabeth who was married to my grandfather Ted had a Merimekko dress) and we are balanced on the edge holding each of you adding and releasing pressure through our skin into your skin to remind you that you are trying to sleep, and we are at once releasing and holding our flesh, yielding unyieldingly to cradle your necks and support your arms while we reach for our phones because we are so bored and we resist picking them up because we know our attention to you will get sloppy and the pull of the lit screen will interfere with our ability to concentrate on doing what we are doing so we don’t pick them up but collectively rest our free hand on them and instead we practice psychic alternate nostril breathing to preserve this mini-universe comprised of breath zephyrs that gently circle around your face, and it is then that we know that you are not entirely you, but an over-filled life-sized water balloon with unforgiving consequences and in sequence we astral project above the field to see that we are multitudes teetering on the edges of beds holding water balloons trying not to move and move enough to get free, but not away, because we are tethered to each other by Macgyver-ed harnesses made of long strands of chewed gum, still kind of stretchy and completely unreliable, balanced on our hip bones threatening to slide down to our ankles like failing elastic on desperation underwear, and we reconfigure ourselves by reaching our thighs apart from each other and tipping our pelvis forward to not move to not upset to not spill something that can’t be put back. 

moving still was commissioned for PushOFF 2021: Speculative Futures

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