“The Painter’s House,” by Adrienne Rich, appeared in MQR’s Winter 2004 issue.
–the painter long gone to the sea–
plutonic sycamore by the shed
a mailbox open mouthed
in garden loam a chip
of veiny china turned
up there where he might have stood
eyeing the dim lip of grass
beyond, the spring stars sharpening
Well since there’s still light walk around
stand on the porch
cup hands around eyes peering in
Is this the kitchen where she worked and thought
Is that the loft where their bodies fell
into each other The nail where the mirror
hung the shelf where her college books
eyed her aslant
Those stairs would her bare feet have felt?
In the mute shed no trace
of masterworks occult
fury of pigment no
downslash of provocation
no whirled hands at the doorjamb
no lightning streak no stab in the dark
no sex no face
Image via Ken Rowland.
Rachel Farrell is the Blog & Social Media Editor for Michigan Quarterly Review. Her work has appeared in Jezebel, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Ninth Letter, Pank, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @rachelfarrell.
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