A Neurophysiological Apprach to Intimacy

We must excite one another. There is no other way to ensure our foothold in one another’s pockets. Nerve cells, in order to learn or retain memories, depend on this.

Nothing moves forward without transference—whether it is an electric current, potential energy, a passing hand, ions, or a glance. Each pathway, licked over by its counterpart, decides exactly how to deliver its message.

I cannot control how my words sound in your mouth any more than I can wiretap what I mean to transcribe to you through tips of fingers along sides. If I could, I’d be reinventing whole systems that lay inside the body like limestone or trans-Atlantic flight-patterns.

Area is unknown. Though the skin is graced like a brush fire or a field of wheat, the filaments decide where and how long messages reach the brain. Labeled-line codes map location.

Exactly how my touch tastes to your brain? A quick burst of impulses or a snail between the eyes and gut?

How one feels different lying between two very similar seconds.

Chemistry shifts inside the body like gold-flakes inside a wine-bottle. (I saw this, once, and drank two glasses, feeling myself gurgle with geological joy!).

We must excite one another. Geometry has much to do with this. As if the mail depended on how one traces a line. Because, in the body, to reach a sensation, to experience a touch, lines must connect, must clearly kiss correct spaces into being:

As though the body knows how difficult it is for us to find one another, as if the galaxies in us refuse intensity if all are not aligned as they should be—we work on all-or-nothing action potentials daily, depend on gates and maps to arrive, to think, to make out a lover’s face.

As though one second bundles enough energy to light whole countries or send one another sailing down some coastal region, unaware of our very real powerhouse.

Store me, for a millisecond, in one of those knots between your cells. If not me, then how it feels to anchor lines to me.

And no matter how many years pass over us, distorting memories and boxes of stored excitement, novelty can still be found: lines of communication are blind.

Inside, untangled, the other can be found, preserved, honest as the first day the maps were drawn, the eyes passed over bodies as crop-planes—necessary, immediate, beautiful as settled dust.

End Note:…because, while it can be poetic, intimacy is also scientific…which I find poetic


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