Not-its cross in the air like twilight bats. The slowest counts to ten, her face hidden in her hands. And what when she finishes? Will she part the azaleas one by one, finding only pink wilted trumpets there? Will she crawl under the empty house, where wasps lie hatching in their paper tunnels? Will she cast door-shaped light into the tool shed? Will she persist until she stalks the cherry bush as her friend holds his flowered breath? Will she lift a step to find her webby sister? Will she creep around the woodpile to spot her brother, curled behind precarious logs? Or will she go instead to her room under the eaves? Does she know what she has? Does she know she can make them hide forever?
What Seeps in Slowly Through a Life, like Ink
When, in seventh grade, Susan Buresh called me a copycat because the girl with the umbrella
I was drawing in the margin of my notebook was the one on Morton Salt, I felt small.
At twelve, I knew that artists never copied. Now what I know instead is that I want to copy well.
I want to copy the baby throwing books over her shoulder until she finds the one about the moon.
I want to copy the look in your eyes when you hear our son play the guitar.
I want to copy the few moments light slants over the tops of the oaks before the afternoon is gone.
I used to think I could own the disheveled violets by the barn, the winds on Skipton Moor, D’Arcy at five naming herself South Carolina, Django at three, crowding her away from the mike.
But now I know that I may only copy them. My brush-tip quivers as it dips into the dark ink.
The pictures I like best do not easily dry. Sometimes they stay wet for years.