El­egy for the Sext

The Iowa Review - - ARDASHIR VAKIL -

But please, don’t ask me who I am. A pas­sion­ate, and frag­men­tary girl, maybe? —Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Jour­nals of Sylvia Plath It is true that, af­ter a night of no com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the Phi­lae lan­der sent back the first im­age from a comet, which showed only one of its three legs touch­ing down on the cracked sur­face.

I imag­ine the pixel as a tac­tile thing. A be­ing ca­pa­ble of touch­ing an­other, in pass­ing, for even the short­est pe­riod of time.

You at your cousin’s wed­ding. Me in front of the mirror, in your phone, with my hand down my pants. Your hand down your pants. Our parts-of­bod­ies cross­ing the na­tion.

In Ber­lin, when the wall fi­nally fell, cit­i­zens rented ham­mers to chip away sou­venirs. Mauer­spechte, they were called. Wall wood­peck­ers.

To par­tic­i­pate in the de­mo­li­tion is to be a part of his­tory. Is what I tell my­self with ev­ery man I leave.

Si­mone de Beau­voir knew, in the af­ter­life, she would never be joined with Sartre.

It is true that, once the body be­comes fixed, it is too much it­self.

It is pos­si­ble, now, for any­one to own a piece of the wall. One can re­ceive a graf­fi­tied, con­crete block with the pre­ordered pur­chase of a video game.

In the dark, while the game is load­ing, a screen re­flects back one’s face.

The space­craft was named for the Phi­lae obelisk, used to de­ci­pher Egyptian hi­ero­glyph­ics.

Once the body be­comes a down­load­able thing, is it true?

That the part rep­re­sents the whole, in this space, af­ter a night of no com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Hoe, mouth, man with hand in mouth: Egyptian hi­ero­glyph for love.

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