By: Katherine Boyle

The artist enters the room.

The artist will swim through an ink of heavy waters

in the space between the mountains, I hear an expanse of light;

we used to see clearly in that sunlight:

do not permit this reductive past to close your mind.

Consider the mirror. The artist gazes

the self abstracts upon recognition.

The artist looks into the soil of this earth

and I see the beauty in a reflection, beneath caving plaster,

above the mattress.

Through the mirror, you may see the artist squint

into the crowds on a bridge.

Do not listen to the crowds, thought they scream

(beneath the edge) the clouds will flow.

Long after your tears end, and the painting has dried, the artist will melt as the rest.

When the radio silence spills into a void,

we are concerned with measuring the stars and mapping the universe,

as if you could see them (on this plane). The artist contains the stars

in writing and by language, tripling signification without culture.

Do not deepen meaning beyond the mountains, past those shadows – you will run out of oxygen.

The artist enters the room

through the orange burn of a body, emerging in a fear of consumption.

Do not despair at the presence of yourself in your body

Examine the space and listen to the words,

hold hands with death as soon as you can, consider the allegories in the music.

Do not reduce yourself, for on a clear Thursday afternoon

there is nothing here for you.

The artist should not mold herself as clay for him,

or for everyone who stands in silhouette under the leaves and the sky,

in dreams, and through dim reflections in the cafe windows.

Please allow the artist to enter the room.

I will enter the stage and not fear the clarity of recognition;

in the mirror, I will expand before the jury and your eyes

the color of the earth

creating myself infinitely before the first slopes of the mountains.

And as I walk up the steps to begin the climb,

I see no silhouettes but my own under the leaves and the sky.

No earthen eyes look back at me from the measurements between the stars

and I see myself in the trees, the mirror, the walls.

The artist exits the room.


A version of this post originally appeared in “Tenacity” The Teller October 2019 Issue #7

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