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O’Donnell & Berrettini – November 2019

Samuel Berrettini and Lexi O’Donnell traded art and words. Lexi shared this untitled image with Samuel:

In response, Samuel wrote this poem:

craven, sealed

hold me in
soft slick black plastic–
suck it in, my inside-wet,
give it skin again and hold it down,
bind it into form over that sardonic mouth and
eyes that never close, staring into

the only feeling worth remembering:
your hand or mine or theirs–
we really are not so different from each other, polymer love:
synthetic caresses, manufactured permanence, suffocating security.
secure suffocation.

loosening, and I am not: humid within
smooth and supple chain-link molecule patterns

relaxing back and forth wavelike,
undulating down a canal, esophagus
gagging on heavy breath.

cling to my mouth, inhale stale air,
make my lungs obsolete: the wet faceless brain underneath still
hums and flashes, small explosions of thought-stars
in the endless black night.
we thought to fill it with light would be to create closeness,
bind together minds in radiance and warmth, but

there is always more quiet
in this simulated second womb.


* * * * *

Samuel shared this poem with Lexi:

A Wisp

What was the music I needed to hear?
It was red, of course,
But more than that I cannot remember
Save the sudden thirst that blazed in me for
Tone and meaning.
I find a familiar song,
About love, with each joyful heart-pulse of the synth
Placed to intoxicate.
But it is not, my love,
That half-remembered beauteous shriek within me.

In response, Lexi made this image, titled “ERS-035”:

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