How Can Two Become One? / Jacquelyn Meisburg


I.   As a matter of fact and the fact of matter itself, we must merge bodies.       We force Newton’s law into the corner of science and love, and demand an answer: “It’s me or her–but one way or another, some matter’s getting destroyed.” Oneness requires reduction.


II.   Or, even relational matters can be approached logically. We graph our                  components side by side in a Venn diagram. The number of smoking breaks to take in an afternoon, the number of alarms to set before bed, the number of half-and-half packets to add to morning coffee. Yes, every nuance must prepare for envelopment. We assume each other’s opinions in researched understanding; we consume each other’s needs in hungry desire. We fold into each other 360 times each. A perfectly spoked circle, unity results.


III.   Or, I swallow you whole. We’re buzzing electric in a hive of shared company, inside jokes, and your crooked grinning. My smile is toothy and broad, you slip down my throat accidentally, and I don’t spit you out. Seizing my chance now, you’re a bee cupped in my palm, poison bottled, a memory crystallized in motion. You’re my perfectly enclosed milk and honey salvation.


IV.   Or, it’s the dull, relentless heat of summertime, when boredom fogs the sky. We know the opposite of love is not hate but this neutrality. So, we set each other aflame and argue. A flash of your brilliant sarcasm, fire orange and fire blue, then our insecurities dance brightly in the prismatic light of exposure. We burn through all we know, feeding and feasting upon the cruelty hidden in our memories. Breathless, we’re extinguished, gone–where once there were two, now there is none. Fire consumes all to an absolute, silent end. We are one in our absent bodies of ash.


V.   Or, effortlessly, we accept each other’s presence. I’m the mirror to your forms. You let me ease my moonbeam into your sea. You let my shadow fall gently behind your glowing head. I wake and don’t know whose lips I kiss: my lover, my lover’s love for me, the love inside of me for my lover, or the lover that I am myself. We are a shared ocean of waves braiding endlessly. Tugged up, up, and apart, we curl and crash to rejoin the one with which we were always one.

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