Ravi Shankar and Tiffany Higgins

Issue #
February 3, 2014

Frame and Snare Drum

Rasp, scrape, reverb, the loop bounce stuttered.
Clasp, gape, perturb, the right atrium mutters
Synaptic stunts to the left atrium, electric shatters
Via iron channels inside the membrane of the cell.

Like cranial nerve ganglia behind an ear cleft
With Bell’s palsy or a seashell’s self-similar fractal
Whorl shattered by a blind foot, pattern paralyzes
In pieces. I was planning to pulverize
My flesh before anyone else
Could get to it. Shred, pulp, strike
A tat a tat tat from it. Summon
Sutras from striatum. And the common refrain
Takes the form of slow dissolution,
Body threaded into putrefaction, the cells
Rupturing in time into a battery of enzymes
That leave no stain but skeleton to turn
To dust. Rot, crumble, atomize
The once sighted eyes though I can see
No change, even rearranging myself
In simulacrum in front of the mirror.

Yes, we’ll end, I nod to him, I
Soothsay to her, but meanwhile
Let’s strum this inner anthem,
Let’s twitch this awkward manner
On the drum of all regrets
Resynced and repattered as congrats.
It’s the pulse of all that lives looped
Back into the soundtrack looming nearer.
Before we could sing, we hummed.

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