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34 A STRIKING RESEMBLANCE But I was talking about lightning. There. Between us. Magnetic flux. The density of our different desires tethering us together. I am pulled towards him. My compass, oriented. We lie in his field of attraction. I travel and re-travel to him, again. And again. There’s the metaphor of the magnet. The fact of how each has its magnetic moment. The pull, the touch. The continual drawing closer. Lured into that field—the magnetic one in which I enter, then his urge to me, (though not yet) (the tenacious wait), then we meet, then the two of us tumble together towards the fact of connection, the fact of attraction. His decision . He comes to me. Fact. Magnets interact. Also, there’s the spark. What a cliché. I will use it anyway. The spark, its force, the need. Magnetic moment. Tactility. Suppose I were to tell you he only touched me once. Suppose I were to tell you I haven’t seen him since. Suppose I were to tell you his hands have yet to recede. Magnetic. Two energies charging, building, colliding. Then striking. It’s how electricity is conceived. A Striking Resemblance | 35 A tremendous electrical buildup in clouds is what concocts lightning. The electricity stews, brews. And then it is ready. Lightning channels escort it to the ground. The taxiing of manic energy. The surge of lightning leaves evidence of its existence behind, everything touched now magnetized. Its unique magnetic signature stamps itself on the world; then the lightning quickly retreats like part of a pair in a one-night stand, leaving in the air behind it that charged magnetic feeling that something happened here. Perhaps at times we can still feel it. That flash of an influence. There is no going back. About the lightning. About how there was that magnetic charge, once. About how he almost came back. About how he does now, differently. A different kind of flash. After our magnets (somehow) pulled away from each other, the grasp released, the weeks spent alone, and then more weeks spent alone, holed up in my apartment, grieving . When I re-enter the world, I look for him everywhere. Strangers shapeshift for a second. Him. That’s him. Maybe. No. I become curious about my attraction to him, how it is I have come to consider the creation of that magnetic moment as something called we. How it is that I continue to feel the crackling buzz of his touch imprinted in my skin. My veins 36 | Chelsey Clammer ache. How did this happen? It was twofold. (And I think of me, folding beneath him. Somatic submission.) First, a microscopic effect. Ampere model. As in, atomic, circular currents, the effects of his touch that still swirl inside me, regardless. Then, the macroscopic. A curl of electrical current flowing around the surface. As in, our skin. The lure. His no resistance. His travels to there. I dive further into the definition, wanting to know the specifics of this specific attraction—him, his hands, his only chance—to understand it, yes, to make it a part of me, yes, to make sense of how I continue on with the pronoun we, regardless. Even in his absence. We. I search. And what I find is language unfurling along my tongue. Ineluctable. Ebullient . The poetry of potency. The intensity that reeled him in. Hands fishing for flesh. Yes, the flux of my compass. Yes, his touch, how it will never leave me. Orientation swayed. White veins crackle across the sky. The artistry of lightning striking the skin. How it races through the path of least resistance. Even in human bodies . Especially in human bodies. The taxiing quality of veins. Lightning enters, then follows the trajectory of blood. The bolt’s graffiti marks its course through the maze of veins, leaving a small replica of itself. The evidence of tissue dam- A Striking Resemblance | 37 age proves its accomplishment. The impression it made on human flesh. A tattoo you deserved (you were struck by lightning, after all), but didn’t really want (who wants to be struck by lightning?). How does this happen? Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. He was a man with a malformation of the spine. A hunchback . Unusually short. And the malformation grew worse, his affected breath shallowed in his chest. But before his lungs exhaled that final short breath, in 1777 this German man named Lichtenberg conducted experiments to discover how struck skin showcases electrical strokes...


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