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Online Art Gallery, Volume 20

The Room, My Mind

Cordelia Albertson

I can’t write songs for you, anymore.

No poetry could cancel

My shameful hatred

Knocking at the door.

We met before

I grew into

My monstrosity.

We met before

I haunted my

Own mind, spiraled

Into a blindness

Beyond blindness

That had me clawing

At the walls.

You walk past me

Without walking

Beyond your room,

But your scent hits,

Ever stronger,

My weakened knees.

Doubled over,

I wait, patient,

For patient gloom,

And feel blood rush

From my head

Into my pleas:

Just leave me be

And forget these,

My thoughtful words,

To see that you

Have shaken this,

Our dust,

From your shoulders

And I have not…

For I still haunt

The room, my mind,

Where you left it.

*

The Picture on My Wall 

Heaven Lane 

The only picture on my wall is of her. Her face is young, but her fitted overcoat hints at curves and she holds herself with the confidence of a woman. A mischievous smile plays on her lips and her eyes sparkle with unrestrained joy. So different from the woman who raised me. The pictured woman is a patch of wildflowers to my grandmother’s meticulously cultivated rose garden. Yet to experience a lifetime of love and sorrow, pride and regret, strength and suffering, she is a half-finished masterpiece. The picture on my wall is beautiful, but I know that one day she will be radiant. 

*

Origami

Ava Phillips

I will take pictures by the little house, green

and moody as me. 

I will bite the heads off blue geraniums, my 

glorious mouth like a bruised

paper crane. 

I will coat my nails in laquer by the 

wide window, next to the potted fern that 

speaks Greek. 

I will hang half poems on the kitchen walls, dry 

rosemary and thyme on the bitter windowsills. 

I will wear the white dress on the lawn, take 

photos in film with the tortoiseshell cat in 

my arms, her eyes 

on the doves. 

I will let my hair grey, pull it out 

by the fistful and leave strands on the branches 

of the plum tree for crows to find. 

I will wake in blue silk in a mahogany bed frame, the 

only parts of me left uncovered 

my jealous wrists. 

I will bake small apples, red and perfect 

as sin, and eat them in the garden, warm with 

summer heart rot. 

I will tend to the hedges, but not the oak tree.

My sister. 

I will let her reach as far as she wishes, let

her shatter my windows with her tender rough fingers, 

if she likes.

I will let her grow wild.

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