- Hair Epoch, and: Architecture of Desire, Gothic Revival Edition
By the end of the 21st century, it was clear that every passing generation was developing more and more body hair. Some blamed it on the wars, the limited genetic pool, inbreeding. It was as if the Word of Darwin had passed into the proto-ears of the fetuses, whispering the secrets of the past. It was as if the children were the proof. We could see the animal in them and though it was strange to us, because they were ours, we were safe to love their wilderness.
With different children came different acuities—forgotten things, wondrous things. One could smell the number of ripe apples a tree would produce before it even flowered, the difference between a fluorescent and an incandescent light. That child’s hair was sandy and rough, and it covered them from chin to knees. Another child heard voices and instead of exiling her, the people listened. When she said a place was sacred, they wouldn’t build, and if someone had already built, they helped to tear it down. She advised the police department and social services as to which cases were criminal and which were the results of underserved communities. Her hair was curled so thick it went only to her shoulders, though when it was stretched out, it was nearly as long as she was.
Some of the children began to return to the last of the natural world, drinking from polluted streams. The older generations became known as the naked ones. The arts and sciences had never been more fully developed, the sensory acuity of scientists and artists at an all-time high. Everyone could feel the shift in the breeze, smell the nuances in rice, and see microscopically in good light. The far-sighted found evidence of water on Mars. Even the naked ones began to spend as much time outside as in.
We watched as our children listened, and listened, and listened, the sensitive hairs in their ears conducting information more deeply and clearly than anyone had ever yet heard. And what did they tell us? We must move slowly, they said. Slowly, but so deeply, across the Earth’s surface. Then, if we are lucky, we’ll be consumed. [End Page 67]
Architecture of Desire, Gothic Revival Edition
I watch him watch as I undress, exceptfor the mask, except for the little brassbell on the collar, tink- tink- tinkIt’s the mask he wants to fuck; after, his ghostynacre will glow on the black calfskin.Watching him watch, an epiphany, -tink- tink- tink- twenty years coming:that I desire desire’s folly,ornament erected for its own sake,a tower in the garden to indulge the ladies, mock-Gothicruin, nudging its way through trees, winking just there, on the horizon— [End Page 68]
Katie Farris is the author of the hybrid-form text boysgirls, (Marick Press, 2011) and the chapbook Thirteen Intimacies (Fivehundred Places, 2017).