Out from the one-of-a-kind tiles holding on in dark boxes. Out from the stacks of men’s shirts to be sewn into skirts, the felted sweaters to be made into buttons. Out from the plastic sacks of yarn waiting to become something wearable. Piles of yarn in piles of plastic growing piles of dust. The world will end—foot space to air space—in piles. Out from the cupboards of food that expired in 2006. Out from the cigarette ashes in the abalone shell. Out from that giddy abalone addiction which could make any child a hunter. The greed for rainbows. Rainbows with holes. The holes appearing big and black as caves for the iridescence surrounding them. Out from the oval mirrors that rocked with the tide and shimmered so they had no edges. Underwater rainbows also look further away than they are. Out from the studded shells of urchins, which my tiny fingertips tried to read like braille. Out from all the pieces of the beach that blanched and dulled and weakened in this house, even when they weren’t used as ashtrays. Out from greyed rainbows. Out from the lame attempt to travel by shuffling nature. Out from the books I call mine. Like I did something other than read them. Out from the favorite spines that ask can you ever tell if a book sang so deeply because it broke you or because it filled you? Maybe it didn’t break you. Maybe it just spoke well to places that were already broken. Out from the boxes of letters stashed in the closet. My name in so many different prints. By so many different pens. To so many different addresses. Out from the blatant love I never saw in them. Out from knowing we only get what care we can bear. That’s it. Out from all the art on the walls and the memories of the people who made it. Out from, for example, the female nude Edie did with a red crayon in about six perfect swipes. Out from the Edie in it. How she hid her innovative gears in a prim black skirt suit and unchanging babydoll haircut. Where does the art end and the artist begin? They meld together. If you’re lucky. Out from this Chihuly glass piece that placed anywhere is always a martian landing. In its black strands I see his big black eye patch which the child me always stared right at. Even when I knew to be polite I should look with both my eyes at his one good eye. Out from all the faces of the artists Nelly Bly brought home. Out from all the artwork Nelly Bly brought home. Some pictures she hid under sheets and blankets until the time was right. But sneaking art onto a practical person’s wall works as well as spray-painting on big dollar signs. Out from the bedside table we all want. From the bottles of lotion on it, empty to all levels. Out from the absorbed way she’s working it into her hands and arms and legs. Like there’s nothing she’d rather be doing. Like there’s nothing else she has to do. It appears she’s humming. Whether she is or not. Out from always her lotion, even when I was a baby. When I couldn’t tell my body from hers. Out from the reptile skin her dad passed on to her. Out from the reptile skin she passed on to me. The lotion just makes its cracks shine for a minute. That’s all it ever did. Out from her beautiful optimism. If you didn’t see the lotion you would think she was comforting one hand with the other. If you couldn’t see at all you’d think–from the contented concentration beaming off her–that she’s making art. And maybe she is. And maybe she is.
And out from all this. As I was going to say. Out from all this the corn in the fields is so bright and clean. It doesn’t do a thing. And then it grows up and grows up and grows up like it’s ordinary. Like it’s way easier than staying where it was.