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The experiences of death
like the experiences of life
are not about unity,
but about particularity,
the breakdown
into smaller and smaller
parts, bonds broken
like hands in a game of
Red Rover, come over,
come over.

Even in the cathedrals
of our grief or celebration,
we sit in different seats.
We can smell our neighbors
or lay our skin against each other,
exchanging the combustion heat
of our physical forms,

but our unity is as gossamer
as this: a promise to hover,
to hang near like the iridescent
stickpins of dragonflies
over a late afternoon pool.

Or does this weakness make us
stronger? We have to fight for unity
like a tension bridge for balance.
We make our unions not in ignorance
of each other’s impermeability.
Instead, in celebration.

I am separate from you, but I will be your proxy.
I am outlined by the border of my skin cage,
but I will lay the fabric of my isolation
against yours.

If union is no more than proximity,
I will be proximous as airborne dust
is proximous to sun rise and set.  
Or as it’s sometimes put:
I thee wed, I thee cherish,
I arrange with thee
our coordinate akimbo,
for ever and ever, amen.


Sian M. Jones received an MFA in fiction from Mills College. Her work has appeared in The Montucky Review and the Eunoia Review, among other publications. In her day job, she writes as clearly as she can about complex code. She occasionally updates jonessian.com.

© 2020, Sian M. Jones

One comment on “Unitas, by Sian M. Jones

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