Fishermen at Sea
The walls are red, vibrant, and I’m in too far, somehow inside a stomach or a lung,
consumed or inhaled. The lining proud before the organ ruptures.
The painting stops me, eyes blown open.
A Turner sea in all its violence, in its relentless taking in and taking on the light.
When the tears come, they come without a sound, landing on my lips.
I lick them and taste the seawater. A gallery assistant is looking at me,
lines spreading on his forehead, around his mouth.
I see myself through his eyes:
a small, still girl, petrified by a painting.
I see myself through my eyes:
[Lost is what cannot be recovered in any approximation of its previous shape, not a
simple misplacing –keys falling behind the couch, a pen someone took home– but the
full friction of what can only be reclaimed momentarily in memory and dreams. When
I dream these days, I dream of the texture of the carpet underneath my bare feet and
how well the desk concealed the coffee stains. I dream of faces that keep slipping
through the definition of their shape.]
I see the painting through my tears:
the seagulls are the first to come into focus, these folds of white. Then the moon.
Then the lamp. Then the certainty of drowning.
Maria Schiza is a freelance writer and translator from Thessaloniki, Greece. She has graduated with a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Nottingham and is currently a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, studying ekphrastic poetry. Her work has previously appeared in Persephone’s Daughters, on the website of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, in Voices, and others.
The Ekphrastic Review
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