When I Reach for Your Pulse


I am trying to get to the matter in matter that is

thein matter, thethat is fluid like melted

candlewax       like the new moon       like an Aum       like the Puget Sound

adapts to changes in terrain, personalities, and air matter

becomes possessed with. The wind as a force is a muted vowel

airs consonants in the brush of pine branches and sidewalk leaves

whose aspirated breaths roll into each other, up, into the human


ear. My mind thinks it hears its human’s name. What it hears is traffic squeaking

on tar. In milliseconds between inhaled sound and exhaled thought, soundwaves

(matter or?) shake the ear’s drum’s cells made of Rutherfordian atoms

that are ninety-nine percentwhich means tiny bones filled with marrow

are ninety-nine percent.  They pass vibration through the snail

to neurons messaging a chant:          name          name          name          reaching the Rutherfordian

brain to echo Nanna hēsaru and Thoom, the mridangam’s bass note

blends bends cowhide on jackfruit wood, friction drowning

background traffic, transmuting sound to the music of a gulp


rising likemeaning to make itself heard. Somewhere on the spectrum

a color longs to elongate its wavelength constraint without infringing

on neighbors. White friends call tanning what I call repression. I look

toward the mountains.       A V opens.      This is ritual     my head’s rite

to tilt gaze from one azure to another, from one blue to a deeper cerulean

where rules lean and middle wavelengths reflect water,

water, also ninety-nine percentgifted body by the spasmodic

waltz of electrons. Breathe in oxygen and hydrogen atoms displaced

from another. Breathe out carbon and oxygen, render them lifeless.

Breathe in       Brahma       Breathe out       Shiva.       Along the street,

I walk brick by brick over ants.  Smile.  Try not


to think. Let the mind be water where no thought lingers

not even a cicada’s hum, a father’s breath. Being occupies the river,

opens to white clouds that will not be after the sun

sets behind stones. I run in the direction of the longest

wavelengths      meditate on waves      strengthen lungs to expand

thoracic, to protect a kingfisher behind ribs,

a hidden nest displaced into bannion trees where I rest when I sit

closing my eyes, where I do that thing I do to air with my nose


in the subconscious tense. I speak to myself in imperatives.

Hold this black cube of matter in your palm. Feel

lacquered metal rap your knuckles. The half moon lights you.

The eight-year-old boy in you runs to spin the block pivoted in the ground.

Slow steps, churning legs, spinning.  The electrons

within shift in perpetual motion, perpetuating illusion. What is

solid will not fall apart for unexpected reasons. What is solid

is fluxing danger      there is no escaping.      Watch the cube spin

on momentum. Watch this black diamond slow by friction

of skin of hands of wrists of arms of joints of body. All magic

starts in thisbetween electrons in fingertips that are wands

preparing a final trick: the converse of disappearance.


Too bad / technology has overridden the soul / and we can no longer experience / true thinking.

Two Poems by Ananda Lima

As I wait for people / in hazmat suits / I am afraid / of forgetting / but I am more afraid / of remembering