from Security Posture
by Sarah Dowling

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A newspaper, white linen. A rosary of buttons and the roaring of waves. Wouldn’t it just stop. Birds’ shadows across the pavement, fast, silent. “It’s getting closer,” she says. Her hand in her hair. Suddenly, the square is dark.


                                    purports to wick it

                                    so tenderly inflects

                                    until everything

                                    stop up the ears

If she lay down on the ground
went ahead to

            structure it all disappeared

the she of hold, the she of thrall
the thrall in which others

            rolled over and

            lost it, something done


If she lay down on her back and thralled

            what she lost she st

            to cause

lost sight of her,
of all of her and

            if she was rolled over

            with others, with fearing

If she lay down

            she disappeared from the sh

            like a shadow, like

thrall from the shows her ground
her shoulders and her back ahead

            go on and was rolled

            about what she


If she lay on the ground, and fearing

            and lost sight of

            and back

and down like a shadow, all of her

            rolled her structure back

            thrall, and was disappeared

Cotton batting. She says it in English, to an old man. Wouldn’t it just stop. Even then, a loose camisole, white shorts. Streetlight through the curtains. Concrete, shoulders burning. Hand in her hair.


                                    and is there a


this kind of punctuated
                                    of what is heard

A series of columns. The water splashing feet and shins. Wouldn’t it just stop. Even then, she speaks softly. Getting closer, there, in movement. The roaring of waves, the hand in her hair. Fast, silent, not so much falling as flying sideways.


                                    and if they can’t

                                    that have been threatened

                                    is rendered

                                    the wax

If she lost sight of it, ground

            lay her back, and ahead

            around it

on her back, she lost the thrall in which
if her, if structure

            if all of her           

in which, if hold


If a girl lay down on the ground, others

            went to structure ahead

            to thrall

made it until she rolled and hold, her back
of all of her shadow

            until how hold

            in it, in which

structure down on her, fearing

            a back a girl a

            sh if she went to the ground

she lost sight of which and how and hold
and the thrall of her, of all of her shadow

            of her

            if she lost


if she lay she sh if she lay there

            if a girl went the ground and lost

            her sight

if she ground her thrall, her others
and lay her fearing, disappeared

            until which structure

            shadow her, hold

Woven thickly, pressed. The skin becoming apparent. Wouldn’t it just stop. Shadow on the pavement. Shoulder, and a loose camisole. A darkened square. She says it in English, like the roaring of waves.


                                    pulled off,

                                    or slowly

                        stopped up

                        in the very same