Lital Khaikin

as long as

Value is never attributed. Even though her having no value may be the cause of her despisal does not spoil, for her, the pleasure of endlessly exchanging herself “within herself”; does not cut off her access to depth.

-Luce Irigaray, “Marine Lover”

To belong to the depths out of which she creates herself, in which she is an abundance of presence. But without—

Hers is a departure from florid grounds. But to always be contained, to be waiting. What is there that is unknown to the current? She makes herself available. The shortest spasm of time takes him to such distance. He disappears into the untouchable other body. Sight is continuous with desire. The quietness of her hands betrays her. Something stirs.

Between the primary of souls is a space that is coaxed outward. A space into which she could fit her entire body. As if, taking a step inward, she could become every other neck, limb, hair, everything that is not of her. Everything she sees is extended time, that is made into her value. What does she do with it? As long as she is silent. Her nakedness is made more abstract because it is achievable. He was sure of her whole body. Out of this knowledge, she must receive herself back from him. But to dissipate, move?

Her sight is coerced into another’s senses. She anticipates touch. Anything will do. Over her skin, a dance that is a form of falling. Anything is always possible. An adulterated bomb under her hands. As if words could become her mouth again. What they become after they become. Shattering. Better silence? She is asking the stones to melt but actually searching, turning each over, as if their meaning would slither out from underneath and hurry towards her. Quickly turning each moment over to make sense of it. To put a stop to it.

The body is fluent in every dialect of drought. And into her is a total violence that makes her small. In which there is nothing so pronounced. Loss that is haunted by silences, then left with other words. She holds each until it is completely something else. Until the tongue has concealed the slow chance of truth. Plunge farther. Into the strangeness of discovering a prelude to joy in something that began from restraint. I have avoided using the word joy in every instant, having knotted it out.

She takes in all of this without hesitation. In a moment, verdant, he has lived every other life. She is so much calmer in her vanishing. A light rain in the throat dims the emptiness, a cup, it holds. Suddenly quenched.

Limpling, shadeless, she could float. Out of the want that has marked her with tremors, something is—is it hers, this itself, that it must be taken? It is hers, so it must be taken. The excess of every remainder is in this fixation, a light dust over her skin. Could feel the breath, not hers. Having turned from. Left here, with the force that is to own. Is it resignation to tenderness, or is it so much that it is enough?

There is the good, or faithful intention, that is in his hands as she knew. One way of touch. And the other that defines her limits, finding her ability to bear. The faltering distance between two points. No closer. She exists between. She becomes instant. He is another edge. What of the subsurface? And it goes. It is a way of losing. Waiting for relief. It is a clean way of ugliness. Enthralled with everything that escapes clairvoyance. But this is to hide from brutality.

Higher, back—upward bound. Simple breath. In the embrace of both day and night, once more. Resonant with matter that is made less dangerous. Venturing into an always young reality. As long as she makes herself available. In how many ways is each day another desertion? The ability to hold all space, everywhere, unfounded within a moment. What to do with this bare skeleton of a world that is deprived of its names? Vanquished by everything that lives without life. As it shivers fitfully against her softest parts.

Lital Khaikin is a writer and publisher based in Montréal. Her poetry and literary prose has appeared in publications including Berfrois, the “Vestiges” journal by Black Sun Lit, 3:AM Magazine, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Sorority Mansion's Year of the Dog Review, and sleepingfish. Her chapbook Outplace was published in 2017 with the small press Solar Luxuriance. A selection of her writing, alethe, has been translated into Italian for Versi Guasti. Her investigative journalism can be found in Canadian publications like Briarpatch and the Media Co-op. Lital is also the founder and publisher of The Green Violin, a slow-burning ‘samizdat’-style literary press for the free distribution of poetry, essays, prose, and literary paraphernalia.