I open the door to the drop:
blue-gray strokes of water.
Clouds stretch across the sky--
the beginning of a painting
I'll fall into if I leave.
I watch far-away neighbors: dabs
of color, the children primary hues.
I want to grab two
distant trees—slight as twigs from here—
sturdy as jail bars—pull the house back in place.
Holding onto the door frame
I hear my scream in the hollow throat of sky:
the tongue of water laps it up.
Inside everything's usual: my paintings slightly awry
windows to different worlds,
some abstractly underwater.
I pick up the toneless phone,
run to the sink: running water
(scattered on the counter: tubes of paint, two brushes like small oars);
I check the pantry, gauge how long I can survive;
the apple I bite is real.
Drifting impalpably, the house carries me.
I dash to the bedroom—expect
to see myself asleep.
Or painting, painting this nightmare, this serene terror.
From a dry vase I snatch a spray of bittersweet
—skid off firm orange berries--
by the door set it aflame: a futile wisp of gray rises;
orange heat descends toward my hand. I drop
the burning branch—it floats
This poem first appeared in Poet's Lore, and also in Laura Glenn’s first book of poems, I Can’t Say I’m Lost, which was published by FootHills Publishing. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including, The Antioch Review, Boulevard, Cortland Review, Epoch, Green Mountains Review, Poet Lore, Poetry, and Smartish Pace. She is working on a second full-length book of poems. Glenn is a Pushcart nominee, and the recipient of a CAP fellowship in poetry as well as a poetry grant from AE Ventures. Along with other poets, she is currently presenting a multimedia ekphrastic show at various venues. Also a visual artist, she lives in Ithaca, NY, where she works as a freelance editor.
The Ekphrastic Review
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