PF Anderson

Shekhinah Polishes Life Like an Opal

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

It is a soft
stone. It fractures

easily. Just
a little bit
of pressure here.

The wrong amount
of force right there.

And it dissolves.
She thinks she might
be dissolving

herself. She lays
on the pillows,

as if she is
dying, listening
to sad songs and

boring stories,
too weak to change

the channel. It is
what it is, yes?
She doesn’t know

where her blood went,
but she knows well

it isn’t where
it belongs. She
feels her pulse throb,

her heart slow, and
heavy. Without blood

she becomes clear,
translucent and

She becomes dry,

All the matrix
surrounding her
crumbles away.

What remains is
milk and cold fire.

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Shekhinah Against the Cybermen

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

She wears a red silk furisode
and glittering earmuffs
as she slips out of time and into

a crowded street. No one
notices. There is too much too much
of everything: bodies, sound,

light that saws at the edges of eyes.
She is passionately
Invisible. Her hair cascades down,

a waterfall bursting
against boulders. She is magnetic,
electric. She is magnificent

In anonymity.
She vibrates with fierce micropulses
of quantum energy.

Reality shifts around her as
perceptions change, mutate.
Her muted mouth quirks, and smiles, and arcs

like power. See the neon signs flash?
L.E.D. ornamented bodies
and clothes move jerkily

amid their portable strobes. She walks
in a bubble of hush
as technology blacks

out in each being that brushes by
her. Silence sticks to them.
The sphere swells. The edges

of buildings first become crisp, then blur,
then crumble. Stars become visible.
The air tingles. Bamboo

shoots spear out of her robe and take root.
The warm cloud of her breath
rises into the dark sky. The stars.

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About the Author

PF Anderson is an emerging technologies informationist at the University of Michigan. She is a single mom, a voracious poetry collector and reader, who also works in the area of graphic medicine and has developed a videogame. Her favorite poetry publications include works published in Calyx and The Brillantina Project; her poetry blog is occasionally highlighted in the Via Negativa “Poetry Blog Digest” collections.