Dominant Wavelength

The woman who kicks and screams
on the carpeted floor of the group room
knows she won’t make it,
anytime soon, away from that place
in the barn where she hides
the straight edge razor
that cuts the even rows in her thigh.

The paint she spreads on canvas
never looks like anything identifiable
from nature, but something abstract,
from the deeper parts of nurture,
with black lines—that appear to be
from a child’s coloring book
or a church’s stained glass windows—
that depict the stories of unnamed saints
and frame nothing she can put a name to.

There are one-hundred and three scars
in her flesh that attempt to represent
what is repressed and somehow
might be fixed, like the blue she says
is wrong, not of itself, but in the upper right
of her latest canvas—the blue that is too dark
but has dried and refuses to mix
with white for a lighter shade.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

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