Postcard by Marina Black

Imagine her riding a horse through the cemetery. Clatter
of hoofs, blending in the clouded silence
that is infinite space: a painting. Twilight
descends but never falls
on flattened sage-green field. The harness of the horse shining.
Eyes hyper-vigilant. Nutmeg-stained between water and desert.
She learns to fall silent. She thinks of
a painting. Of how the words made her.
How she once talked to cover herself
in broken places. Such as: our relationship
isn’t working. Such as: I like
your tie.
                                                                 Thirty years ago
she felt that a painting was always ‘the first time’. Today
it’s the last time she ever sees anything, which is: like ‘the first time’.
Which is: like desire full of endless
distances. And then the lift of the brows cropped by chemo
but still alive. A long shadow of her former shadow: I am fine.
Or was it a question: Am I?
She thinks: her birthday is coming soon.

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