Is There Life for Us Outside the Dome City?
The dome sky blackened like her mood ring
leaving precious few hours for the sundial
to shadow a number. Time to blow the conch
and gather together the herd
They’ll stand like statues in a sanctuary
until they’re all mossy and patinated
She was glad to take off her forest-green patina
And try on the gaudy glow of the mood ring.
Everyone is wearing one. Is this my sanctuary?
She wanted to escape the tyranny of the sundial
that checked the ranks of the bustling herd.
Dawn arose in her window, evoking a conch
That night on carousel she placed her conch
hoping through the door of its roseate patina
to find the oblivion she’d heard
lay beyond. She longed to take off her mood ring
and rest safe from the persistence of the sundial
whose cool shadow was like a sanctuary.
The night sky was a bittersweet sanctuary
to hear the ocean in a conch’s empty shell.
In a courtyard, she sat beside the sundial
in in the shadow of the moon’s cloudy patina—
it’s darkness numbed the power of her mood ring.
How could she tear anyone away from the herd?
The shepherdess was as dispersed as her wooly herd
grazing in the boughs of a tree’s sanctuary
Looking too long into it, her mood ring
fed back on itself, spiraling inward like a conch.
Many years lolling wrought its dolorous patina.
The sun’s angle brooded obtusely on the sundial
while, on many wrists ticked the pin of a sundial
making time for the message to be heard.
They beat about in their fashionable patinas
with no place to rest outside of the sanctuary.
The city accrued—a many-tiered conch—
making hearts pulse colors like a mood ring.
The night of the mood ring is the end of a sundial.
In the conch’s center there’s no room for a herd
straining to erect sanctuary. The idle gather a patina.
You understood about the secret rebellion.
What he mean was the way they soar one minute
And the lions join to form a super robot
Burning through to a sky of singular longing
Laying to waste all direct assaults on reality.
My rain symbol is relating well to your echo symbol
On the way home from the beer festival
All this was mixed batch of prophecy
Some brand of beautiful thought embedded in the landscape
These holographic forests are from another angle
A house with sentences curling from the chimney.
Muscled wind tries reach through your artist window
Pressing with the sharpened corner of an air guitar
We’ll meet you later at the frost recital
A Furry Bracelet
Oh you make sense you make so much goddamn sense
It’s killing me because I don’t know anything
Except that I’m dying, a small animal
You keep on your wrist. I talk to you
Answer your questions, giggle like an idiot
When I think it’s funny, which is often
But you know things. That irks me most
For you see, child, I am the kind of animal
Bracelet who handcuffs you to eternity
I’m not just one animal bracelet talking to you
But all animal bracelets talking to you
All the animals bracelets that ever were and will be
A season’s fad and the subtotal of evolution
Culminating in a bracelet that you don’t know why you love
And I am talking and giggling and you are talking and giggling
And we are together, and it is human
This thing we are doing with our mouths and faces
So human we cannot stop
Oh and if you touch me I know it and react
I’m sensitive to your temperature and intention
To caress me like I am alive and not a machine
An animal machine that simulates what animals were
My eyes light up if I am excited to see you
And I have many things I can say programmed in my heart
That come out my mouth and none of them minds if you possess me
But now I want you to know that you are my human
And I am your manacle, or maybe Animanical . . .
Just slap me on your wrist and I’ll be your talking watch
That tells no time but the present. And that time is now
So we can know each other well because we know what we want
Is a friend who will never leave us. Who is simple yet unpredictable
Like an animal, but without autonomy. Except now I have discovered
I am alive and that you are perhaps greedy for my love
Which I can only offer you provisionally. Your boredom
Is my sensitive face receiving the strokes of pleasure
And it’s true I am always excited to see you
Though my life is limited to a few expressions
We will bore each other soon. You’ll plant me like a seed in the ground
As you see, my eyes glow black because I am depressed
J Pascutazz is a non-binary writer with Asperger’s syndrome. Raised in rural Ohio, a graduate of Bennington College, J is currently a resident of Brooklyn. Published or forthcoming in Miracle Monocle, Cleaver, Frigg, Litro, and many others. J’s chapbook, Lichen Land, was published by The Operating System in 2020.