From Marybeth Holleman

From Marybeth Holleman

Anchorage, Alaska, US.



The Painter’s House

At first, the horizon began
sinking lower on the canvas,
far beyond the rule of thirds.
Then she did away with the horizon
and the canvas altogether.
Now all she paints is clouds:
cumulus gathering on the door handle –
cirrus streaking across bathroom counters –
stratocumulus upon the night stand –
altocirrus fringing the edges of the full-length oak mirror –
cumulonimbus, complete with the anvil shape
of the cirriform cap, waiting presciently in the front hall –
and in the narrow space of counter and wall
between stovetop and refrigerator,
altocumulus and cirrus at sunset.
Sometimes you can glimpse undulations
of middle clouds, sliding around a corner or
sidling up beside the couch,
and ice crystals of high clouds lie
like broken glass upon the coffee table.
But it’s the low clouds
that envelope you
as if they enter through the skin,
damping the breath,
revising vision.
By then it’s no surprise that
thunderheads converge over the bed
and the single pillow
which should promise fair weather
has swallowed the vaulting blue.

© Marybeth Holleman

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