The code is written on my body. Just beneath the skin

Nothing so simple as the repeat sequences used in DNA profiling

More complex than measuring fluctuations in cosmic radiation

An intricate lattice with no beginning or ending, and no defined point of entry.


It must include numbers, I think.

The number four, with its connections to the secular structure of the world—the four points of the compass, the four seasons, the four elements

Also, surely, the sacred number three

And, of course, the all-conquering number two, with its debit for each credit system, its united we stand divided we are merely single philosophy, the sheer inviolability of two

The perfect number two must be in there.


And words. The code must be built upon words.

Longing, burning, craving would surely find their place there

Maybe too comfort, belonging

I am guessing.


I feel more certain of the inclusion of the senses.

Sight, maybe, though experience of fine features without intellect leads me to believe that looks cannot hold the key

But licking and swallowing the essence of you

My Geppetto

These must be elements of the code, I have noted them down.


Here’s a glimpse. Your face next to mine, ‘are you warm enough?’, back arching to get closer to you any way I can, clammy streams of jealousy, unassailable in your arms.  


Love is such a slippery word, worn smooth with use by imposters.

Love remains the principal coin of the realm.


The code leaves a sticky trail from my breast bone, across my stomach and down my thighs.

I trace its progress, searching for the key.







Elissa Soave is a Scottish writer of poetry and short stories. She has had work published in various anthologies and journals, including New Writing Scotland, Working Words, and a short story due to be published in Freak Circus (Issue 3).