Self-Portrait with Black Background
I carry the world on my back,
a cup and flask to drink, bread
that will not weight me.
I carry the clear Finnish light
to save its summer flame.
I dispose of what I can until
the face is plainly empty, till
I behold the road, its fork,
the small steps tread.
I set cornerstones to anchor
paint to more than earth, even if
at times it is myself.
I remove details like brush
cleared from the spruce forest.
Study my face as if stranger--
cleft of chin, salmon cheeks,
cloudberry lips, pale skin.
like the infinite winter night.
At the edge of Helsinki Harbor,
I set down the world. I rinse
my visage in the Baltic Sea.
Sharon Tracey is a writer and editor and author of the poetry collection, What I Remember Most Is Everything (All Caps Publishing, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Egg Mom Review, Tule Review, Common Ground Review, The Ekphrastic Review, several anthologies and elsewhere.
The Ekphrastic Review
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