Poetry: Sara Renee Marshall


Sometimes an avenue itself is the masterpiece. In France gold arrests the street like a sequin wheeling its shine around. Form and light translated by how heavily they close in on the eye. Cezanne tells the volume of a building in negative silver on a black lake. Seurat’s planed angles, smeared bodies at the bathhouse. I wonder: what is the distance between the real here and the here I wake up fighting off. That on the lit edge of our block we counted quail in their parade—is this the composite present or grey debt languishing on half my bed. The face, too, a jagged ground of impression. How I see you and then how I remember you.

Every morning, I come into my kitchen or this kitchen wears the ghosts of yours. I calibrate at the stove—the scene sucked furtively toward a field usurped by a pinhole. I move my head back and forth, inhale cautiously. I want to shake the house out of the air, open somewhere greener. There is the grainy picture we make with words and the picture hovering around me like arms. I am made there, hand-guided into the day. If I rewind, I risk. I revive the same little death. As if new light alive on the wall doesn’t deliver enough cruelty.

SRM-picSara Renee Marshall hails from the American southwest. Recent work can be found in places like Octopus Magazine, Dear Sir, CutBank and Colorado Review. A chapbook, Affectionately We Call This The House, is newly out from Brave Men Press. Sara lives and writes mostly in Denver, Colorado.