Mercedes Lucero is the author of the chapbook In the Garden of Broken Things (Flutter Press 2016) and winner of the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award for Poetry. Her writing has appeared in New Orleans Review, Curbside Splendor, Paper Darts, The Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, The Pinch, Heavy Feather Review, and Whitefish Review among others. She is a recent Glimmer Train “Short Fiction Award” Finalist and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently the Fiction Editor of Beecher’s and curates a collection of works dedicated to the experiences of autism and developmental disabilities through the online literary magazine, Spectrum Extract. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas.
Solution: We said wouldn’t it be nice to go back to simpler times and everyone nodded their heads and we put down our calculators and spent the entire afternoon yearning for a childhood. We spent the afternoon hurling each other into the past, into playgrounds and popsicles. We spent the afternoon studying each other’s baby teeth. We pressed our faces against asphalt to remember. We ate chalk. We bit hopscotch marks into our forearms. We said wouldn’t it be nice to go back to simpler times and everyone nodded their heads and we thought it was a good idea to think of simpler times instead like when we found two abandoned baby birds at the foot of the oak tree. There were two baby birds and we all agreed and remembered we begged our parents to let us care for them. We fed the birds worms that we bought at the bait store and filled tiny syringes with sink water. We remembered only one learned to fly and everyone grew tired and nodded their heads.
* Author’s Note on Stereometry
It starts perhaps with thinking about space, about three-dimensional space and later, locating oneself within that space. Lately, I have been concerned with mathematics and arithmetic and seeking patterns within the arrangement of the universe. I gathered textbooks on geometry and cosmology, spent hours solving equations and memorizing theorems. I have made a list of questions related to my hypothesis for further inquiry:
- What are the geometrical properties of a body that turns into itself to feel its own curvatures?
- What is the area of the shape a body makes when it is filled with uncertainty?
- Is there an equation by which I might find the volume of resistance a body creates when it is told that it does not deserve to be erased?
I have surmised that if stereometry is the art and science of measuring solid bodies, then surely, there must also be a way to measure bodies that are not so solid. Surely, there must be a way to measure bodies that are made mostly of water. That cannot help but dissolve and evaporate. Mostly I have been thinking of what to say. Even I know sunlight can be too heavy on the skin.
[Mercedes Lucero | Fred E. Byrd]
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