An Untitled Romantic Vision of Lovers Pairing Off 


It’s like 
there’s a campfire,
at night, the dark woods, 
wilderness without exact location, 
coordinates, place, but there’s a constant 
flying saucer-like rotation, turntable-ing gyration, either ethereally mechanized from within, or the spin’s 
a camera trick, a slow exocentric clockwise orbit, 
a circumferential shot trained on the fire, the axis, 
while the motionless backs of all those sitting around enclosing the heat darken, the flames, the controlled and roaring-as-long-as-we’ve-ever-known 
campfire, surrounded, in turn, by a circle of rocks 
found and carried, before we can remember, although 
we brought them, lifted them one-by-one to barricade 
and protect the fire from spreading,
devouring, engulfing, conquering, overcoming, 
all that around, the rocks, 
the protection, a placebo—since flames lick,
jump in hot ash, red-dotted embers,
thrushing with the heat over the circle 
of rocks into the trees, the canopy, the woven tent, 
the false roof of orange-streaking limbs, the shelter of these dark woods, wilderness, campfire, located, as far as I know, only as an image of pairing off, 
anxious coupling, 
not just for a night, or a romp in the ivy,
the underbrush’s abrasions, outside the smoke-fuzzed system of nucleus and orbit, where all’s off-camera, 
out of sight, beyond the public knowledge, eyes, 
entirely private, only knowable for those who’ve paired off from around the fire, 
slipped away from the fire, the heat, 
the flames, encircling rocks, the embers 
pitching up to the roof, heat propulsed, and the cast of bodies around the fire, all who came to the fire 
to sit around it, and brought 
a rock, as yet indivisible, 
a band of inexperience, 
awkward, goofy, expressed as 
silence, heavy-lidded eyes, 
all ringing around
and creating the fire, until we notice 
two breaking orbit, there are no goodbyes, goodnights, farewells, shaloms, toodeloos, 
there are no acknowledgments, nods of 
understanding, I told you so’s, and away we go’s, 
instead it’s solemn, processional, 
melancholic, automatic, naturally entropic, 
like breakaway republics, 
foresaking the round, 
the coziness, the security, the assurance, 
the known-ness, the group-ness, for something less known, warmer if farther from the heat, the central fire, 
these two who almost shuffle away 
from the fire, not with reluctance, 
but with arms supported in mutual guidance, 
knees extending from sitting positions, 
like drowsy herons from swamps where they’ve let themselves cook for awhile, 
where they hatched 
from within a shell of heat, a unity of enclosure, 
comfort, a world that proclaims itself alone 
and is only actually a pin-prick, 
a pen-point, an iris, a drop, 
that opens and finds a larger circumference, 
so that the next wall 
between the guts kept-in 
and the mess kept-out 
is out of sight, 
what exists there is not our need to worry, 
whosoever is along the outside wall 
towards which the two breaking orbit head, 
where light is only seen beyond the curve, 
they break orbit too,
are never seen again—now two more stand almost as one, 
a symphony of gelatinous movement, a gradual flowing, 
of limbs, an escape from the circle, seen gyrating, turntable-ing, rotating, from either the centerpoint 
within the heat or from the receding long shot of the first couple that broke the ring, 
and soon the fire around which we sit 
becomes more singular, bearable, 
easier to have escaped, from the distance, 
the vantage of the escapee, 
a point receding, but from the other camera angle, 
within the fire, you see my face, your face, the hollows shadowed, our skulls bright through skin, our features unthinkable without the fire’s illumination, we see ourselves for an instant clearly as the camera pans 
slowly clockwise, scanning the circumference, and in that instant, distantly, we see the first receding couple, 
not as a muted, darkened, 
gray presence we squint to see, 
but we see the receding couple actually brighten,
streak out and away, and as they move further, they brighten, so that they seem as if they’re coming back, 
coming closer, heads turn, the focus is no longer on prospective partners at our side, 
or the perfect heat at the center, 
or the ring of our bodies, 
what’s left of our circle, 
now it’s these two united in the distance, 
who seem to come closer and closer, 
a large attracting star illuminating 
a new circumferential patch 
of wilderness around it,
everyone wants it, this new star, we feel a new gravity, 
the camera within the fire accentuates 
this sensation as a quick zoom 
towards the new star, when one sees this zoom, 
one sees, at the new star’s core, 
a heat in which the bodies of the two who broke orbit 
are no longer distinguishable, one thinks that they’re burning up, that it’s not a positive heat, 
a creation, but an end, a punishment,
a trick, a trap, a temptation, a gamble, 
now there’s dissent, and then the second couple 
that broke orbit flash, just like the first couple that began brightening, there are two new stars, 
a dissemination of stars from our once united source of heat, our fire beneath the canopy located somewhere in the wilderness, now there’s a general consent, 
the action of the new stars is positive, 
their fire, their new heat, is ecstatic, 
it’s a procreative consumption of isolation, 
consummation, completion, overjoyed independence, 
an overcome wilderness, 
an unknown area into light, 
and more pair off, 
one-by-one slowly, 
mutually deciding, 
and OK-ing, 
one by one, 
and as more break orbit, 
the fire dies out, 
more ash flies into the canopy 
and mixes with the leaves, now that there is less heat, 
finally the canopy ignites, the exodus off into the unknown, which isn’t as mysterious now, since every couple 
that has released from the first orbit,
all shine, all burn with a heat that will match, 
even surpass, the light from which they all descended, 
and so the wilderness flashes, 
fires, heat, 
but where I still sit with you, 
where we still sit, in front of a fire almost extinguished, 
the camera from within the fire, loses focus,
we blur, 
and eventually disappear 
as that fire now is only embers, 
but above us, we see the roof,
the canopy burning, limbs and leaves crackle, 
contorting as they fall, 
fire controls an area and then the air burns 
as the fire falls around us, the exocentric camera, 
the camera which once kept us in tight focus with a slow clockwise circumferential orbit, has pulled back, 
in an effort to catch the entire scene, 
accommodate dispersion, 
the camera has pulled back now 
so far that the original fire, now decayed, 
only seems like a disturbance, 
like heat-lightening peeling through heights,
this is no longer central, 
the orbiting bodies are all off on their paths, 
each couple pursuing its own gravity, 
and so, perspective is a series of mirages, some 
distantly burn bright, some nearer burn dim,
and from this camera that’s quickly receding 
from its original position, 
one can see, located at the coordinates 
where we were all once mapped, 
the two of us uniting, 
the last around an entirely fled circle, 
shining, brightening, burning, 
without ever breaking orbit, our heat 
attracting the charring fragments of the canopy, 
which fall into us, feed our heat, until we see above us,
what was above the canopy, at last, we never were aware of a curiosity, focused on the heat in front of us 
and then those breaking orbit, 
now that we’re together, 
we can see above 
the canopy, a clarity, 
another wilderness of space,
unchartable distance in all directions, 
which is ours,
which we enter, 
which we occupy, 
in which we are alone 
and accomplished with work 
ahead of us, 
singular, burning, attracting, 
waiting for those who will find rocks 
and encircle us, 
keep us as we are, 
maintain us, tend us,
sit around us,
with a world to know 
behind their

David "Vin" Arionville was shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland, believed dead, and came back to scare the shit out of his family and claim the family vineyard.