In Sickness, Health, and Space-Time

The fourth; the dimension of stillness. And the power over wild beasts. Ezra Pound, Canto 49


Born the same day, less

than an hour apart, the lovers

ask each other, Are you me?


The universal ancestor of all

life on earth was only half alive,

and yet here we are, alike and thrumming.


The lovers love papercraft, love

turning two dimensions into three

and dream of four, of tesseracts


and helical tesseracts somehow,

impossibly, unspooling. Imagine how

DNA would evolve in the fourth dimension.


I bet you can’t. I know the lovers

can’t, yet they wish to dabble with time,

even if it threatens their shared identity.


They’re willing to sacrifice

incidentals if it means they might

turn a paper cake into something greater,


puzzling and intangible, like pure

form. How does another dimension affect

a relationship? The empath can tell you


what connection feels like, and

it’s directional: a magnetic field, a strand

of nucleic acid. We are and are


not one. We are and are not

two. The lovers love to imagine all

the possibilities they will and will not be.



Brianna Noll is the author of The Era of Discontent, forthcoming from Elixir Press in 2021, and The Price of Scarlet, named one of the top poetry books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books. Poetry editor of The Account, she lives in Los Angeles.