Jennifer Sullivan



HALF-LIGHT

I very much like to think that illness sometimes heals us.
We grieve like fallen leaves,
sap covered, soaking in the half-light of dawn.
Dirt lines the corners of our mouths.

We grieve like fallen leaves,
scattered slivers of illuminated disorder.
Dirt lines the corners of our mouths.
Refuge lingers close like summer rain.

Scattered slivers of illuminated disorder,
reborn like yellow dahlias.
Refuge lingers close like summer rain.
We must learn how to move on.

Reborn like yellow dahlias,
sap covered, soaking in the half-light of dawn.
We must learn how to move on.
I very much like to think that illness sometimes heals us.

["I very much like to think that illness sometimes heals us" is excerpted from a letter Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo on July 6, 1889.]



IN FRONT OF SUNFLOWERS AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY

A group of preschoolers spread across the floor. Their teacher hands them a square of black construction paper and two lumps of clay. Yellow and green. She says, Texture. Remember what I have said about texture. The children begin to snake pieces of green between their hands, the sound of tiny palms rubbing together. One child is not yet working. She stands up, leaves her materials on the ground, walks toward the painting. She reaches her hand toward it. She wants to touch it, fit tiny fingers in thick thumb slides. She stands there, hand saluted. When she returns to her spot, she drops to her knees, blobs the yellow clay on the paper, knuckles it to the page. She stretches pinches between her index finger and thumb, slides the petals to asymmetrical spots, looks up only to ask why she was not given any orange.






Jennifer Sullivan is a poet from Akron, Ohio. She has published poems in a variety of journals including Nimrod, DIAGRAM, Main Street Rag, Timber Creek Review, and Ohio Writer. Recently, she was a semi-finalist for the 2007 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and she was the first place winner for poetry in the Best of Ohio Writers Contest 2005. In spring of 2008 she will graduate from the NEOMFA program.








                                    

 

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