If she had a sea

If she had a sea

 

If she had a sea, her sea

is smothered

in the dark wall

preserved in rubble

and ash; if she had

a voice, her voice

absorbed—anechoic

chamber of the repeating

image, as any

private gesture

repeats in daily

life—effortless;

she reaches

back to pinch

a stem between thumb

and second finger,

gold dress slips

from her shoulder,

illusion of movement,

feet pointed

toward a sea

on the far side

of the wall, one

basket, one plant,

one woman, illusion

of white flowers

on trace of green.

The surface of linen

dress peels back

in patches, as if

watching her burn

over a held flame.

 

 

Reference: woman picking flowers, fresco, Pompeii; National Archaeological Museum, Naples

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