Adjust by Matthew Schmidt

I caress the calcified knob of your knee. Solitude reigns in the sparseness of the room. A wooden stool abuts your bed. I read quietly, the words abscond in my throat, unsure where they will sequester themselves. It is in these moments that darkness hides under the turned page. Once when tablets were etched with words the darkness clung to the edges of the letters. To pass away from a time is to place yourself anew. I continue down the fragile shin, the skin smooth again in age, tight around bone, yet slack in the calf. Trace the line of mobility. You seem to say that the world you walked was sharp, divided, and upright in stodginess. Well, I can only wonder at my ideation since the lips of your mouth have not parted in months. I’m tracing the lick back to the estuary looking for brackish secrets. What has the light filtered through? Take the lines on a hand, where do they slip to? As I slide off the shin onto your ankle I have an abstruse vision. I won’t lapse until I reach your sole. Tell me about the time you climbed the apex of the birch on Grandma’s farm and looked over the ridge.

Matthew Schmidt holds an MFA from the University of Arizona. He will begin working toward a PhD in English at the University of Southern Mississippi this fall. Recent work has been published in Down in the Dirt, The Missing Slate and Small Po[r]tions.