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Ferrin & Lee – August 2011

Erika Ferrin and Emily Lee traded artwork. Erika shared this oil painting with Emily:

In response, Emily wrote this poem:

Her Flight

This elephant can fly.
Ten million years from now
Archeologist fingers flutter
Like insect wings excavating
Her ever-expanding girth.
Future elephants are pocket-sized,
They collectively exclaim.
Her hollow bones bring flight
Briefly to mind
But never to their practical lips.
They recreate her
With futuristic plaster and paint
Lumbering through wildflowers
Below a heavy sky.

But to see her fly.
Returning to wildness
Her wrinkled grey skin-feathered,
Tail-spinning, eyes-shut.
She, a crane full of grace
Hovering below stars, above earth.
Her dung dropped haphazardly
Baffling migration scientists
For over ten million years.
She, the mover of obstacles
Shrugs off gravity
Like a wrinkled grey sweater.
Behind my eyelids,
Her shadow burns amber.

* * * * *

Emily shared this poem with Erika:

Vitalius Cambiraus

I didn’t know I love the smell of oranges
Until parallel-parking over one.
It was winter.
Sweet and sharp it woke me from bundled cold
Crushed Florida, sun-saturated,
popped it into the curb
In it’s last moment giving, I could see.

I didn’t know I loved birds
Until the loon pierced twilight
I didn’t remember until I saw her feeding
Pigeons at a fountain by the bus station
Day-old wonder bread from a grocery sack
And they gathered as disciples.
I didn’t know until the birds, wings beating
Her laughing as they skimmed over her
rushing and wooshing as one.

I didn’t know I loved the light illuminating
The white window curtain
Or drawing long horizontal lines through mini-blinds
I didn’t know until cold, dark, December
The sun further than ever
How my skin, muscles, bones ache,
I stare into the fire through a paper tube
As if it’s the sun, eclipsed.

I didn’t know I loved the harbor
Until I began to see it
First from a distant restaurant chair, cracking crab
Then at the edges: styrofoam, glass, tin
chiming against cement.
But I didn’t know until paddling a kayak
Out into the center and felt her rhythms,
And how old and strong she is.

In response, Erika painted this:

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