PAVEL



PONOMARYOV







and PROV



SADOVSKY


by Jac Jemc



Pavel Ponomaryov and Prov Sadovsky sat on the stoop and followed a fierce chronology.

They snagged on brambles, pushed forward, tapped their relay sticks down, and returned.

They were competitive fictions.

Shapeless, then shaped.

Clueless, then clued.

Beneath all of the weight they felt strong.

They thought, "We'll hold it high."

It held them down.

They held it up.

What was it exactly?

        "Does it talk?"

        "Does it ask?"

        "Does it listen?"

        "Does it think?"

One thing was sure: Pavel and Prov were suspicious.

Pavel and Prov were suspicious of clean faces and dug their own eyes in where time hadn't.

And then they were lined from the squinting it takes to see.

It was with their own vision they became engraved.

As children their grandmother reminded them again and again and they never quite listened, "An axe will plummet through paper. Scissors merely paw at wood. But it is the educated eye which returns and returns."