Pretending to linger I make a show of standing on the threshold one shoulder inside this room we’ve filled with moments, cheeks smooshed against windows limbs spilling, grasping from cupboards unclosed and floorboards lifting loose to show the bodies no longer hidden, buried beneath.
When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?
John Ball 1381
There are less of us these days, the ones with the time to weave history into cloth. Once upon, they called this women’s work. We stitched their names just the same, cut their threads to the lengths they needed to be, did not cry over the fraying ends they left behind, but moved on to the next row of coloured strands waiting, to be fixed in place. Our baskets always bursting with material for the making, some scraps we took to our graves though that tradition is gone as well, with no one to keep the patchwork growing so much is lost and moth eaten.
You and your dim accuracy, head lolled loose eyes whitened and widened till the pupils blink out. Words come clipped, ransomed love letters read like shopping lists, or obituaries. Call this a grey life, the air sucked clear your mouth a pursed funnel, but I am the culprit. Found the bruises of your hands, like marble sponge, cold as stone the heat slipping over you without warming. In the well shade you sit while I sink deeper, darker for the waterline. Come up spitting dust and excuses. Shoulder a shallow cloak of indifference, already the hem unpicked by those grasping hands always tapping rapping at the weakest point. Feel them at my temples tonight, tomorrow, today, at the weakest point always tapping away.
Ah, I’m really hoping I got this right. The five Samuel Greenberg charms that I used for my response are as follows: dim accuracy / grey life / marble sponge / the well shade / shallow cloak. I tried to emulate Greenberg’s abstract style (though not quite as drastically as he employs the abstract).
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