Stereometry | Root Expressions: How our scars √Will fall into place.

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 PinchHeavy 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.

Root Expressions are from her manuscript, Stereometry. * see note
Below is 5 of 5 in a series of weekly installments for Visitant.
Previous installment: Tell me the story √Of how I was born.

Root Expressions

Solution: We could place our tongues over all the parts that ache. Acquaint me with your scars so I can lick them from your skin and swallow them like whole flower bulbs. When I was seventeen, I had a panic attack while driving on the highway. The real reason I stopped taking the antidepressants is sometimes too hard to say which is as much to say that it is easy to feel ashamed. Now, we tongue and scar, later spread out pieces of ourselves on the coffee table of our grandparent’s living room as if we were putting a puzzle together. We spend the afternoon gluing these pieces together because we are certain something good will grow.

* 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:

  1. What are the geometrical properties of a body that turns into itself to feel its own curvatures?
  2. What is the area of the shape a body makes when it is filled with uncertainty?
  3. 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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