An idea so fleeting it’s mere outline, dim constellation.
I think of abducting you—

a consideration as gentle and banal as what fruit to buy for the week.
It’s really only the word that compels,

abduct, abducere, to lead away as if by the hand, lovingly.

As though I might roll you in a carpet and hide you
              from the soldiers.      The idea marches across

my mind wearing something other than the usual form
of men who wait for me outside bars,
                          men who walk behind me
            in the darkness. 

I think abduct with the languor of a sleepy mouth pressed
                                      against a clavicle. I think

of the poem I read alone in a foreign country
             at seventeen that confessed    I wish

I could remember how your fingers tasted.

A series of snapshots as I want you to be, wanting
                           to be led.

             To lead me away from myself,
from this gaping well of stone
                          masoned within my torso.

Not knowing you gives me this freedom. Desire lingering
like the ghostlines left by the flashbulb,

the afterimage              of an image,
                           simulacrum, disingenuous.

If we were intimate I would lose this command
over the imaginary.

But the truth. In my mind that is what you are asking me for.
              I’ll tell you then:

it was the beetles at Preble Street,
                           husks bright as knives, spilling
             from the broken bamboo stalks

             at the edge of the parking lot
                                         where as a child I crouched
                           in the dirt like some feral echo,

a spy on my own home, watching
                                        the world           rotate
              through a chain link

              fence with a sense of power
                            brought only by distance.

The lacerating glint of their shells—
as though their iridescence could cut.

                                        I broke open
             the stalks again and again. And the cloying
                          scent of magnolia
                          heavy as mercury in the air

and my nine year old heart      a caldera

                        emptying and filling and emptying

with my tiny acts of witness   the sky so blue
             it’s turning almost green

                                      the house peeling
                       its white paint                 while the lawnmowers


drone in the shattering sunlight and I know then
             this is freedom, this loneliness.

Theadora Siranian
Theadora Siranian

Theadora Siranian is a graduate of the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her poetry has appeared in Best New Poets, Ghost City Review, CONSEQUENCE Magazine, Rust + Moth, and Atticus Review, among others. In 2013, she was a finalist for The Poet’s Billow Pangaea Prize, and in 2014 was shortlisted for both the Mississippi Review Prize and Southword’s Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. In 2019, Theadora received the Emerging Woman Poet Honor from Small Orange Journal. She currently lives and teaches in Kazakhstan.

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