Ellen Terris Brenner
The adults, with their need for steadfast solids
Have to resort to vast built structures
To pull off the trick, to contain the chaos.
And that's not bad, in its own narrow way.
The trip that brought me here, with Papa,
Was on such a ship, and it was a wonder:
A star-Leviathan with a sun in its belly,
Bearing a thousand soft souls in its cells
As it swam the dimensional seas.
They fear to let you too near to the chaos.
But I stood, girl-face pressed to the viewscreen,
As we made the jump to the higher regions
And I saw not chaos, but order.
The cosmos revealed its weft to young eyes,
Each thing twined through every other.
I swung out in that net in a widening arc.
I could have jumped, myself, into hyperspace then
And been gone.
Two years later, it's Papa who's gone,
Borne to some business by another starship
While I wait for him on this planet of grasses,
Rank coarse grass that, if it were Terra,
You'd expect near an ocean; but no ocean appears.
Two years is a long time marooned.
I remember the trick that was played that day,
The order-in-chaos I saw in that screen.
So simple a dance; shall I do it now?
There are none here to hold me, much else that calls me.
I look around at the sealess sea of grasses
And they appear to nod their assent.
Turning my face and my heart to the sky, I begin.
A dance of four steps, with prelude.
Step zero: the point, dimensionless virtue.
Step one: the point draws out to a line.
Step two: the line broadens into a plane.
Step three: the plane rises into the solid.
And then, the release of step four . . .
I look around at the sea of grasses.
I look up to the empty sky.
Somewhere up there, a Leviathan swims
Bellyful of stars, my papa in tow.
Papa, I am leaving now.
Step four . . . and I am gone.
Ellen Terris Brenner (firstname.lastname@example.org) is (in no particular order of importance) a writer, computer geek, les/bi/gay/trans community activist, Unitarian minister, singer, Clarion West alumna, and newbie air-cooled VW camper enthusiast. She lives in Seattle with an obstreperous cat named Jimmy Dean, the Rebel Without a Clue.
InterText stories written by Ellen Terris Brenner: "Home" (v4n1), "Gone" (v6n2), "The Mirror of Aelitz" (v7n2).
InterText Copyright © 1991-1999 Jason Snell. This story may only be distributed as part of the collected whole of Volume 6, Number 2 of InterText. This story Copyright © 1996 Ellen Terris Brenner.