Grains #1: Malleable

Across the words of any given page

are infinite spots of softly malleable bits

invisible to all but the most patiently trained eye

The next time you are at sea

consider that the waves exist

because they are here to train us


and over time carving a valley within us

I didn’t know the waves when I was growing up

we would drive instead across salt and sand

for hours

and I would imagine characters

ready for the next time my brothers and I would play Dungeons & Dragons

I’m certain my characters had specific magical powers

or incredible strengths 

but I don’t actually remember those things 

I remember only that these people were ambidextrous

because i too so desperately wanted to be ambidextrous

I still do, i remind myself,

each morning with this facial routine 

I have arbitrarily decided to complete 

with only my left hand

But I think I now know the waves

I have seen us 

all floating through a drifting space

or in a forgotten vertigo we are falling through a fine seaside mist

that has been sprayed across the starry sky

with each flood of time

crashing against the walls

of a cold and icy cosmos

And yes we are falling.

Thrust into a grasping at all those fine and tiny drops, 

each of us an infant 

reaching out

with our right hand 

or our left


if we are so ambidextrously lucky)

And what can we do

but smash together our own little droplet globes

the way rain collects itself

and its other selves

in its own vertigo floating-falling

across a silent windowpane

A child might anxious hold such a globe

cupped in the palm of his hands

and he might never know its tearful glassy beauty

or maybe she will know her own power

and gently shape this invisibly milky mist

and hold an eye to her own collection of raindrop selves

poking it 

shaping it

minutely shifting its focus 

or maybe even its aperture

and in so doing 

significantly altering the photo that would be rendered as a result

so that all those softly malleable bits might become

ever so slightly more visible 

to her eye. 

Kyle Studstill