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Poet of the Week: Cortney Lamar Charleston

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In Theory, We Are All Human


Not a simple thing, no. Not to be taken lightly. To be

understood, and I do, that is, get the theory of you:

integral of human possibilities. The theory of your body

as a familiar machine, like mine, like something that

hums while it works a skin together where there had

been a rip before. The theory of skin, of its color

and discolor. The theory of your blood and bones,

like mine; your eyes and lashes, like mine; your nose;

your mouth, full of ocean, like mine. The theory

of freedom, which I take to be a naked feather,

dancing, almost like a hammock, back and forth, back

and forth in the passing wind. The theory of God

as asymptote and the theory of love as limit, the two,

tied together inside my head by a math problem.

The theory of law as inequality instead of equation.

The theory of a wedding dress and the theory of

a wedding dress on fire. The theory of binding breasts

like pages of a book needing to be read. The theory

of birth as death sentence. The theory of life as illness.

The theory of male and the theory of female and

the theory of neither and yet, still, this body, like mine,

graphed on so many dimensions. The theory of choice,

like reaching for an apple instead of an orange. The theory

of sin, like reaching for an apple. The theory of ribs

as prison bars. The theory of homelessness among

family. The theory of children who claim you, likewise,

as a blessing. The theory of your smile. The theory

of a rainbow after the storm, like the gift of a perfect

bridge over troubled waters. The theory of your hand

touching mine, incidentally, in the closet of a single

moment. The theory that one of us, in that moment

did not exist in our right mind. The theory of mind as

illness. The theory of choice, again, but for which of us

and what between? The theory of sex and sacred and

the hard, hard practice. The theory of you. The theory

of me. The theory of a good person and the truth of

a bad, though, in theory, I cannot say who or



originally published by Fugue


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