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a poem by Richard Fein


Friction brakes all forward motion.
It wears down the soles of shoes,
rubs away the rubbery thickness of tires,
erodes the cartilage between bones,
and lights up plummeting meteors.
Friction is resistance to any change of position.
But without resistance muscles vainly contract against everything around them.
Friction is the sandpaper of existence, a smoothing coarseness.
It is more than just two clashing sticks igniting sparks.
There’s the friction of a hot body chafing against another hot body
which even sweat can’t lubricate or cool.
Friction is the flesh on flesh rubbing that deep within propels sperm towards egg.
It’s the yin-yang opposition that moves the generations forward.


Return to Issue 34