The fireplace with its dying fire, the green patterned wallpaper curling at the molding, the soft bed which has lately been stingy with dreams—the painting has made a painting of the room. The awkward stems in the awkward vase and the last flare of life in the darkness. Just a study, no subject but that which can be arranged on a table. No subject but experience, the weight of my blood in the darkness, my throbbing arm. The fire snaps and throws a flare on the hearth, the pattern on the wallpaper rising like bubbles in a fish tank. Workmen call to one another; a new dumpster clangs on the street. Life pedals on in the dark, lighting its dynamo. The blooms, now, there’s courage.
Paul Barron received an MFA from the University of Michigan, where he teaches writing. He currently serves as the director of the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, a living-learning community focused on writing and the arts. His short fiction has appeared in Pretext and is forthcoming in The Nottingham Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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