This is an UNfinished painting. Brand new. I cannot finish a real painting in less than a day, especially when I'm sick in bed a good part of the day!
Geraldine’s Word Collection
The new English teacher gives Geraldine a pass and tells her, “look for words.”
Geraldine finds the word “memory” on the library door and copies it
into her word book. “Memory,” the librarian reminds her, pointing
to her own head, “is what you remember inside, what happened before.
Yesterday, earlier today.” Geraldine sits down at a library table and looks
inside her memory. She finds Ricky there, and Aldy. She looks at Ricky
and writes down the word “handsome” and the word “love.” The librarian
helps her spell the words. When she remembers Ricky’s kisses, they
writes the word “warm.” She remembers him naked, but she doesn’t tell
the librarian. Instead, they write the word “lonely.” Loneliness
happened earlier today. Closeness happened yesterday, or some time
earlier. Aldy happened, the most beautiful baby in the world. Love
isn’t a big enough word. They took Aldy away, put Geraldine in a new school,
where she couldn’t see Ricky. A stupid school. A school where Geraldine stuffs
envelopes and puts tiny measures of spices in little bags and bottles.
And gets paid. Fold it this way, not that way. Fill the measure to the top,
but not overflowing. All the girls in one room, all the boys in another.
No Ricky, no Aldy anywhere. Work days and education days. More work
days than school days. Long days, no sunshine. Big pink lights that hum.
No cafetorium, no school dances. She writes down the word “hug.”
She thinks about the word breast, Ricky kissing her, Aldy nursing.
But she says the word, “family” and thinks of her parents, her sister.
“Memory,” Geraldine repeats. The librarian reminds her about the dictionary,
and they look up memory. On the way to memory, they encounter
the word “melancholy.” The librarian helps her write down the words:
“sad, depressed, gloomy.” The librarian writes the words and Geraldine
copies them carefully. In art class, her teacher repeats the words
and Geraldine picks a color for each word, paints a picture in sepia,
indigo, burnt sienna with bits of red, yellow and blue. The art teacher sees
a small flock of tropical birds in a dusky jungle. Geraldine sees dark days
and small bright dreams, visitations of memory, Ricky and Aldy.
Mary Stebbins Taitt,
groan (persephone speaks to hades)
you plunge between my legs
and I look up
where spiders stretch their webs
and twirl their moths
and fifty bats hang by their nails
and granite shines
along foreboding cracks
as wisps of fire
reflect. you gasp and groan
and come and I
release a sigh, relieved
that you are done
so I, with less
impediment, can watch
each bat inhale
and spiders gobble flies.
but as you crush my breasts
in sleep, your weight
distresses me, as does
the slime that leaks, now cold,
between my thighs.