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Kermes & Crossman – February 2021

Lana Crossman and Sanzi Kermes traded art and words. Sanzi shared this untitled image with Lana:

In response, Lana wrote this poem:

For the love of Wiley

It was not the last game we played
but it’s the one I remember best.

Letters latticed across the board
you placing your last tile with

the grace of a gracious winner
a painter’s precision, nestled

in the gap between before and
then, when you ran out of words.

The board has since softened.
I fold it like a love note

a charm slid into a fortune cookie
a child’s game I finger-thumb

and lift the flaps for answers.
Or, maybe, like today, I bend

it into something precious, press
my lips to its folds, breathe

and resuscitate. 

* * * * *

Lana shared this poem with Sanzi:

Patchwork

In the attic room, they stretched
me over the frame, 
so taut you could bounce
a coin off of me. 
At my borders, women bowed,
murmuring quiet consolations 
as they stuck me with needles. 
Their stitches closed no wound, 
left no scar, only a trail 
winding through fields 
of colour, pinwheels pieced 
from harvested hand-me-downs. 

When the last thread was cut,
they boxed me up and sent me to live 
with the newlyweds.  
To blanket their bodies, curl up 
under their chins and slide 
between their thighs.

In response, Sanzi made this piece titled “Patchwork”:

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