Joe Milazzo

Verb Captures Pronoun; Article To Preposition.

P. takes the thing from Q. before Q. has an opening during which to give the thing to P. And despite several facts. This thing is too old to shine, and too new to be its opposite. The thing has dimensions, irregularities and little to no value; the thing is very possibly broken (inoperable rather than damaged), or a mere fragment of a greater thing, itself a testament to the thing's proposing to value. Q. had performed a vast pantomime, complete with winds and swinging doors, peeled fruits, pulled ropes and tipped hats, around underselling the offer. Doubts about desire dribble down past P.'s ankles. Q.'s face is hidden in hair and attraction. P.'s hand is for once uncostumed, marble-salmon, raw.

Q. could mock P., mar or stain P., or look at P. in such a way as to reduce P. to the fine, careless outline guaranteeing the invisibility of the transparency being outlined. The thing is heavy and moist in P.'s hand, open still all around its gravity. The thing simultaneously resembles a video game graphic jumping from plateau to plateau in P.'s adolescence, a lonely meal P. once ate, and rapidly, or a surrendered vice to which Q. has tethered nostalgia for "Q.", or, not lastly, a song, movie, movie's song that played once or many times, memorably, but when P. and Q. were less defined by a meticulous tallying of giving and taking. P. and Q. are standing at points on an angle in a room where the light is scorn and the air sighs and the familiar depressions of the furniture are familiarizing themselves with awkwardness.

P., holding, feels, suddenly, how little "P.", thus lensed, can feel, all over and in "P."'s skin and cells and indeterminate but capacious, P. has it on faith, insides. "P." closes another hand over the thing. The thing does not disappear, and its heat paints the walls. Q. senses, gradually, that, in losing possession of the ability to discard that thing, that "Q." has made an ugly return. Q., limbs fold and in the process of folding further, accepts the embrace of the name "Q.", and knows now that Q. has lost the will to connect. "Q." experiences thirst in the form of an asphyxiating relief. P.'s dread believes it has blacked out, but it has only crouched among the sleeves and laces of a closet.

"P." gives the thing to Q. before "Q." takes the opportunity — a mere crack — to refuse it. Falling, the thing cannot remain an "it", but neither P. nor Q. (nor "P." nor "Q." either) has yet been sacrificed to that epiphany. So. The thing is quickly lost in the various visual patterns that coagulate on the floor, which is also where both P.'s and Q.'s eyes have discovered avoidance. It is in these manners that reflections are made and then shattered. Made, shattered, mirrored, made, shattered, and over again.

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