Each of the two of us, bounded
in our immediate spheres, will touch
along their edges and then
the struck keys of our words propel
semblances of a meaning
through membranous curves.
One side, inside, echoes back (heard or not);
the other vibrates the other’s tympanum,
on, into anything permeable
behind. With that comes the stroke
by verbal hand, even poke
of an aimed verbal finger, or plea
from upraised verbal palm. A jab
or elbow gets thrown without any
aware intent. We trade several blows.
And clinch, reflexively jostling into
a rough tango of stances. Every
re-position asserting a self
cloaked, naked or veiled. The sonic
gestures test; they verify, validate
via a brush-back, shrug-off, shove
rebuffing pressure and shadowy weight
of the not-you (maybe, as well, of the
not-us); at the otherness of
Another, taken as hard question-call
posed like an oncoming threat
to the most intimate domain. With need
for pressing on under one’s own pre-
conscious power until matched resistances
finally tuck the perimeters home.
Allan Briesmaster is a freelance editor and publisher. His eighth full-length book is The Long Bond: Selected and New Poems (Guernica Editions, 2019). He was a partner in Quattro Books from 2006 to 2017, and currently runs his own small literary press, Aeolus House. He lives in Thornhill, Ontario.