Size / / /

What if women were not circles
and men were not straight lines?
Then a woman could not be a fruit,
or a ripe moon, or the pregnant swell
of the sea. A man would have to be more
than a walking erector set, would have
to think twice about putting a point
on his argument, might be permitted
the non-linear luxury of a tear or two.

What else would we miss if we observed
that his precise and powerful trajectory
arcs under the subtle pressure of her
atmosphere, or that she, a celestial
body suspended against basic black
space, only seems serene from a great
distance? She appears still, ripe, ready
for the plucking, but, as the straight-
forward geometry of curved space
tells us, really she is speeding faster
than we can know, and already
beyond us as we look.


Copyright © 2004 Lisa Firke

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Lisa Firke lives at a boarding school in New England with her husband, two children, two dogs, and approximately 600 teenagers. Through her online presence, Hit Those Keys, she mentors other writers and designs web sites for writers and others in the arts. Besides Strange Horizons, her work has appeared recently in Cicada, Spellbound, and The First Line. To contact her, email

What was the question? Lisa Firke is easily distracted. Nonetheless, her poems have appeared recently in Cicada, and in the April 26, 2004 issue of Strange Horizons. You can find her on the web at or send her email at
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