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  • Axis, and: Terminology
  • K.D. Harryman


Planets and stars rise over this hill,the one imposing its green cut-outonto cloudless mid-morning blue.Blue heat burns white, then ashto grey, cool to darker blue and,in a few places on Earth, black.My daughter and I are at an agewhen everything is about us. Sheis twelve, childhood a luminous trailof plastic ponies and sidewalkchalk, stretching out behind her.I am 50, riding coattails of my youth;most days she looks at me like what.—Like something biggerthan what holds it, like the oceanglares at the moon, resentingits weak light, the way it passes downfaults like acne and the nose shehates, the un-earned shamethat would cripple her if not for hervastness, her desire to swellinto her own shape. If not for the goodthat remembers our earliest gazes.And no one believes it, buther first sentence was I see the moon,which must explain momentslike yesterday, when she walkedacross the darkening field to the carand held me in her sight the whole way,without malice—which was enough,more than enough to keep me spinning. [End Page 71]


A clue is a threadwhich if followed, leadsto a solution or at leastthe problemas in that dayin kindergarten when,from her new red satchel,the girl dutifully pulledher coloring book—the prince on the coverholding the princess's tiny waist,the tail of her ruffled dresscurved upwardlike a grown man's tongue,the girl thought,in her own pink mouth. [End Page 72]



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