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Beins & Sidner – May 2013

Agatha Beins and Sal Sidner traded art and words. Sal shared this drawing, “Love Tree Divided,” with Agatha:


In response, Agatha wrote this poem:

We Are Infinite Twice

We sit with the birds that have built nests
with our hair, sifting spring’s light green
flight with our heartlines our capillaries
becoming fractions until they become
something else. We serenade our beliefs
and our cellular dances, we try to remember
the words held unripe like fruit in soft
palms. Where we find no end in the small.
Our nuclear machinations double over
and over as we sleep and if we believed
in miracles we might believe in the water
in which we begin as fish or as faith. Look
closely, at the stomata, at their wild
breath. They’re our delightful secret secret.

Our fractions elongate and fall in love.
Our doubts wander errant through spiral
galaxies and wish iteration and chaos like light
amphibious slivers moving just under this greyblue
surface. Our fission creates the plankton
and the moon’s pulse, our pith still drinks
salt from the shallow sea that roamed
millions of years before we thought to count
years. Where our hands quietly read this story
in silt and clay, its expansion accelerating
against gravity, feasting on the stars’ alchemy
and abundance. Oh, the distance between
flesh and loam. The trees know: if we sing
as long as the wind we might become fish again.

* * * * *

Agatha shared this poem with Sal:

Conservation of Energy

The mayor of Moscow’s desire
to ban snow, to shoot

into the clouds silver, cement powder, liquid
nitrogen, to seed the clouds with snow

that will fall outside the city’s limits,
imagines intention makes a difference.

Forty degrees is the temperature
under which iguanas fell from trees

that winter. Florida news stations sent reporters
and camera crews to golf courses at three in the morning.

That winter it didn’t snow
here until February.

When Maggie’s brother’s iguana
died while he was out of town she put it in the freezer

in a Ziplock bag, the kind where the blue lines
and the pink lines are pushed into a long

purple kiss, and rested it on a plastic
container of last summer’s sauce made

from bulbous garden tomatoes until he returned.
Their braille skin. That thick, round belly, soft,

even of one just fallen, finger-like
toes curled but not enough to hold

the branch its weight had bent. The air cracks
my hands, striates them taut

and grainy so that my fingers
extended test their edges.

The slight pucker of barely burnt skin on one
thumb: where grace subdues memory, when heat

waves break and send hail to steam
on the blackest pavement: what falls

in gravity’s envelope. What slips figuratively
and physically through our fingers

is not unchanged by them, but it is not
clear to me if the laws

of conservation of energy always apply, whether
push really is the opposite of pull or how

much forgetting kindness requires.
According to the reporter, tricking the clouds

is cheaper than plowing the snow.
It is February and leaves

on the oaks by the river have not yet fallen.
Their rustle gossips shamelessly.

But the river has frozen over
and over, its surface sliding over

itself into thin slices of ice pushed toward the shore
and up into piles of ragged angles

that refuse comfort. They break
for invisible reasons. This is the sound of it.

In response, Sal created this painting, “Iguana in the Icebox:”


One Comment leave one →
  1. May 13, 2013 9:12 pm

    Agatha and Sal, I really enjoyed you work! Agatha, your poetry is just beautiful. Sal, I love the intricacy of the tree painting and the boldness of the iguana painting.

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