Hands like Lighters

by EMILY PETTIT


I would just light the fire
& forget it. 
I would just light the fire
& forget it. 
I would just light the fire
& forget it. 
I don’t want to, didn’t want to
talk about it. 

*

I look up contrition. It’s up in the air like
legs. I moved my legs, moved my legs, 
moved my legs. 

Look at how you are moving your legs. 
And look            

almost maybe nothing

was said. 

*

Say, was that ok? 

I do want to dance. 
I want to dance. 
I would maybe. 

*

You are air or something. 
But for a second, 
you think you are water. 

Where does the wanting
water come from? 

*

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

No amount of fire enough.
No amount of earth enough.
No amount of water enough.

I hope enough air might get me there.
There where I want to be. 

*

I want words and what seems like
endless patience. A mile crashing you
in and out. 

You said you just want me
to sit next to you. 
To hold your hand.
These shapes.

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

To wish, to find, to surrender, to appear, to descend, to see, to know, to show, to wait, to say, to run, to temper, to flee, to steal, to absorb, to ring, to read, to make, to feel, to hear, to tell, to watch, to wake, to consider, to deliver. 

*

Concerned with articulation
of that which is beyond
what is perceptible to some
of the senses. 

Simultaneously a sponge
and a projector. 

See how you saw those silhouettes
and in so seeing saw a certain way
to work well against a wall?

*

I have a wall and you’re too tall
not to see around it. Air above. 
You have those eyes. These eyes
above me. What is the word
for their shape? 

*

The shape
of shame
is super
shifting. 

Or is it stuck?

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

The shape of shame
colliding with the old somethings.

You can’t explain what you want
to explain because you are worried
it won’t make any sense.

Water and toast. 
Water and toast.
Water and toast.

Water and toast. 

Water and toast. 
Water and toast. 
Water and toast.

Water and toast.
Water and toast.

*

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

There are certain things
that it wouldn’t make sense
to say we did. 

In the new diagram
nothing was buried
or what was buried
wasn’t buried below. 

Below the ground that is. 

*

Mostly I look like this
by accident.

Mostly I do want
to look at you. 

*

Do you want to
look at me?

*

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

Casual lighthouses
are what we want to be. 

But lighthouses aren’t
casual. 

*

The person stops being a person.
The person becomes the idea of __________. 
The idea of pain. 


*

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

Hands like lighters. 
No, not like lighters,
lighters. 

*

I am having trouble breathing again. 
You, the one I love, live for yourself. 
It can be hard to look at. 
It can be a lot to love. 


*

I get reckless and down.
It’s internal but out there.

*

When do you like to dance?

*

The nature is that there is no story.
No way to make what happened a story.

*

You have stories. 
You dance. 

*

It feels hard to fuck up a rock,
so you think
be a rock. 


But you can’t be.

So you dance.

You dance maybe. 

Spirals to an edge. 

*

Hands like lighters.
No, not like lighters,
Lighters.

*

Words can’t describe the wound. 

Perhaps more importantly words alone
can’t heal the wound. 

*

I love words. 
I thought I hated bodies. 

I didn’t know I could love
a body.

I didn’t know I could let
somebody love my body. 

*

To have, to think, to unlink, to take, to presume, to reach, to plan, to land, to break, to help, to wait, to work, to make, to know, to read, to prepare, to remember, to hold.

*

Hands like lighters.
No, not like lighters,
Lighters.

*

So it seemed sense was going
to have to change. 

That what to arrange
might not be words. 

We are so much water. 

We are so often wanting to dance. 

And you, you are air too. 

*

How do you hold a body
of air? 

How do you let go
of the idea of the word fair

*

Hands like lighters.
No, not like lighters,
Lighters.

*

To hope, to give, to watch, to wish, to leave, to call, to fall, to open, to see, to collect, to circle, to long, to know, to go, to stretch, to allow, to reflect, to need, to forgive, to undo, to imagine, to want, to touch, to crash, to loose, to hear, to change. 

*

I was waiting for it to rain hard
like this.

I was going to change hard
like this.