on boundaries

Humans are mostly water –
electricity run through meat –
bounded by our skin;
our largest organ
divides the sea within us from the air outside,
holds together our private oceans.

Skin is our primal boundary
our primary boundary.

Humans are mammals
we grow in someone else’s skin
and require the intimacy
of skin-to-skin contact
as infants or else we spend
our childhood, our learning-to-personhood
unable to trust other humans.
Biologically, we require
the physical manifestation of the boundary
between the self and others.

Our infancy is learning
that we are a person apart
from our mothers –
discovering “I” and how to meet its
demands, – then, in childhood,
learning that others’
“I” is as powerful and deep as our own –
learning empathy.

Boundary is definition
by binary; you can’t have yes
without no

“that” is also “not that”

“me” is “not me”

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Mel Compo is an interdisciplinary artist, playworker, and facilitator at the New York City Agile Learning Center. Their work with children centers play, art-making, city adventuring, and open conversation about language, bodies, gender, networks, emotional intelligence, brain plasticity, and cycles of growth. Mel studied the intersections of SDE, poetry, and the history of American education NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. They live in Brooklyn, New York.

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