“Can bowls swim?” a question asked. I knew the answer they wanted was No. But bowls could float, even heavy bowls, if flat and large enough. The large, flat-bottomed bowl of an ocean liner, for instance. If Paul thought like that, too, he’d give the wrong answer. They meant small inanimate household bowls. Not the bowl of the deep ocean, say, holding currents, coral, plants, and creatures — itself floating on the earth’s liquid core of iron and nickel, whose swaying produces Earth’s magnetic field. Not the bowl of the earth floating — or, with so many life forms, was it swimming? — in space.
— Diane Ackerman, One Hundred Names for Love
It is all okay, just the way they say it is. By every measure, it is fine.
Rise weary. Shower off the animal, dress in unremarkable cloth. Speak in operation manual dialect. Meet only the eyes of the bus driver and snap straight the helicoid moment as you stride to claim your seat.
Write like a man, the librarian says. She scrubs her emails now. Each is an écorché peeled free of padding. Each correspondence a naked, muscled machine, its purpose laid bare.
Maybe we danced before.
Maybe we pretend we haven’t forgotten the petronella turn. Continue reading “Bowl Cut”