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.
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