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Goodwin & Bernstein — August 2016

Anna Bernstein and Juliette Goodwin traded art and words. Juliette shared this untitled painting with Anna:

julieg
In response, Anna wrote this poem:

Wild Boar

My memory
won’t stay when I tell it to
won’t come when I call it.

If we doubled back together, we could find
a few years of stumbling,
a high cold shout, a cracked knee
when I fell running on ice

in the dark. What I ran toward is lost
not only to time but to my own
failure, a misfire with the target
now too distant to make out.

Everything eventually
elopes into the woods
without me. I heard a recording once

of an orchestra breaking down,
like ants moving over the outline
of a monster dragonfly, and I can’t say
it moved me. Nowadays I wake up

and don’t even try to recall
the night before; I put the smashed thing
back on the shelf. And I know
how the fields went fallow

but not what was planted in them.
I know how, far below blacklights, I dreamt
of jellyfish, but I never bothered
to figure out why. I lie still.

Under my eyelids
a smeared dark thing raises its head
and charges at me. I can’t even remember
the shape of its teeth.

* * * * *

Anna shared this poem with Juliette:

To the Man Who Winked at Me on the Train

You remind me,
somehow,
of a bird. Not of
a thin raven,
crook-beaked and
grim—you remind me
of a plump sparrow
settling down on
her eggs.

After all, something
about your beard is like
the tufted cravat
ringing a little brown
head, and your
puffed chest speaks
for itself. You wink
to tell me about
the souls below
you, rocking
in their shells

with an insistence
that signals vigor.
You beam from your
nest as your
children kick at
the door of life.

And I don’t care
that you want
to sleep with me
or slap my ass.
You don’t
have a choice:
on a spring day
like this one,
this is what your
wink means.

In response, Juliette made this painting, entitled “Winky”:

winky

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