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Banaszewski & Sahlender & Richmond

Anthony Sahlender shared this photograph, “Watching Atop the Perch,” with Alicia Banaszewski:

Anthony_Sahlender-Watching_Atop_the_PerchIn response, Alicia wrote this poem:

Things that Exist

Photographs where the lights of passing cars
and cars and cars are straight lines, stairs that loop
in circles, but still get you where you want to go.

The reality that in nine days,
I will move to Baltimore — to his arms, bed,
breath, bathroom, kitchen, car.

White walls, black photos, red flowers.
Crooked teeth. Matter-of-factness: “Do you
want to have sex?” “Yes,” and then the action.

The pros and cons of dating a writer,
whatever that meant, or continues to mean.

Making lists, long and lengthy, that reach
for something vaguely beautiful —
that never quite touch. Stressing the effort,

not the outcome. Giving up and gaining.
Counting pennies. Sweeping up pennies and
throwing them away. Feeling guilty about

throwing away something that should be saved.
Subtext. Text messages. Massages.
Things that are said, things that are felt,

things that are built, buildings that
are only meant to be looked at. Feeling
like those buildings, more often than not.

Buildings that are built to help us notice
more buildings and people and pets.
The architecture class I got a C in that

didn’t teach me the vocabulary I thought
would enhance my writing – instead
the simple fact that all my life I’ve been

looking down.

* * * *

Alicia shared this poem with Carly Richmond:


My mother is an amethyst dulled by florescent light.
She bites her lip, picks at her hands, and lets dogs lick her feet.

My mother is the Mamas and the Papas silenced by vacuuming,
her hideous winter hat, hood tied tight, nose pink from shoveling our driveway.

My mother is a thrifted, crocheted brightly colored blanket.
My mother is, “Guess where I got this, Alicia? A garage sale for $2.”

She is giving, silly and immature.
My mother is driving through the mountains, her bare feet hanging out the window.

In response, Carly made this photograph, entitled “Mom with Zach”:

Mom with Zach

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