History begins with a line
From the document against my father
Defendant took their daughter, who was sound
Asleep, out of her crib and started to shake her
A legendary promise lurches in
Half-life intervals toward a meeting
So what can you bear?
This won’t last longer than it takes for
A spinning coin to fall
Vibration began when my father’s cells
Were fused then jumped by a frequency
Multiplied along a wire
That extends from the wrist of a fiery deity
Implanted in the current age
The skin of some men carries a smoky flavor
Shake her shake her
The desire to douse an already quiet fire
I suppose that it seemed as I slept
I was not really human
And can I excuse
The excuse of unrelenting energy?
What is vibration, after all? If you will
Imagine how a seismic shift begins
In the middle of the ocean the core temperature
Fiddles its knobs
A plate gets hot
I’m sure it’s much more complicated than that but it’s like
A frontal lobe jets off course
The sound mind jiggles and slides
An errant neuron pings
Waves are forced to tip then widen
Flick the shore like some god’s careless fingers
I’d like to make a future promise
Humans live in advance of naturally occurring
Disasters, choose to control their nature
The quake in the brain tempered by stroking
The soft eyelids of the baby
As fluid rolls beneath the fingers
A current gets grounded
If you are brave enough, submerge
The end in the beginning
And pull the beginning from the Earth
Like lightning in reverse


DANA CERV lives and works in New York. She is the author of a chapbook, Bath Poems (Sixth Finch, 2015). Poetry and visual art appear or are forthcoming in Sink Review, Folder, Jellyfish, Powder Keg, and Reality Beach. Work lives here: daracerv.com, and here: http://instagram.com/dara.cerv.on.paper.

Photo Credit: Erin Albrecht (erinalbrecht.com)