I glimpse a world that is filled with joy. (2022)

Mirror with silk screen printed text.

Text reads: In the early morning sunlight, you and I talked about a joyful politics. Your hair seemed to shine and glimmer, and your skin stretched light over your bones, to give me the impression of someone at once fragile and immovably solid. The borders of your body did not seem to shift and dissolve the way mine did. We talked the landscapes we grew from, we talked about tunes and sex and dancing. We were gathering together desires which might point towards a liveable future. You had just released me from the tight grip of your arms which held me together. I had lost my edges for a moment. My body had failed to hold everything I was asking it to. Tears had leaked from my eyes. I tell you that I think the most politically important thing in the world is that gesture: the impulse to pull towards. In other words, what I am talking about is desire. I did not know how to articulate this moment of intensity: a kind of a rupture, or a moment of resonance, with all the weight of gravity, and transcendental lightness of grace. It's no wonder. We had been out the night before. The usual story. It could be told over and over again, in endless iterative translations. The slippery contours of time: my memory works over stories told to me, events I did not witness, conjured up as glimmering luminous images, as real and affective as if I had been present for them. The darkness had drummed with excitement. My parents' histories loom like ghostly spectres. Dazed dancers spat out onto dull roads, and frantic music which amplified in intensity the closer they approached. The cavernous space was populated by bodies writhing like a many limbed animal. I want to take their nostalgia seriously. My gaze shifts and revolves. Visibility, partial erasure. Chemical euphoria makes movement kaleidoscopic. You touch me and it passes through me like an electric current: sharp, harsh, cold. The surface of my skin is conductive. Standing so close to the speaker that the beat reverberated through my ribcage. My father says, when we’re there, inhabiting those spaces bodily, it feels like one of the most precious and valuable things we have ever known in life. The words resonated: we mirror one another for a moment. Sonic resonance is, by definition, vibrations of the same frequency. It is a process of amplification. Somewhere, in the exchange, the relationship opened the possibility for a lessening of despair. A memory inexplicably resurfaces to the forefront of my consciousness and grief catches in my throat. Joy and despair collide, they mutate. On the dancefloor we are porous to the wax and wane of these emotional intensities. I could feel your gaze on me. I am buoyed by the feeling that I am desired, that I am desirable. It feels as though the room might be expanding and contracting in time with my lungs: oscillating between the intensity of intimacy and the expansiveness of being a single body of many. I am no longer sure where the border of my body ends. I was dancing and I was dancing and I was dancing and I was dancing, and it felt as though a wormhole of time opened up and swallowed me. The distinctions between past/present/future crumble and dissolve. I yield to accommodate this shift. Had I ever begun? The continuous folds over itself and implodes into singularity. Dancing no longer had a beginning or an end, only now, now, now. An ever unfolding present, looping, and inescapable. Every time another figure brushes against me is an event. I am alive with ever-unfolding bursts of energy which immediately bring me back to the body. A suspended moment of brightness, broken by the darkness which frames it. This momentary flash is illuminating. The possibility of something else shifts into visibility, I glimpse a world that is filled with joy.