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LaMarca & Antine – February 2021

Sarah Antine and Selene LaMarca traded art and words. Selene shared this untitled piece with Sarah:

In response, Sarah wrote this poem:

So You Can Be Born Completely

A man stands in a corner shrugging his shoulders
Some ghost from within him tries to escape
Kicks out with arm and leg
He tries to unhook it.
But they stay stuck together
Like the pink lady half emerging from the crystallis
wings twisting on the cold grass cannot shake off the green turban.

He thought he lost his mask
But he’s still wearing it
The mask has grown a leg, takes a first step,
even laces up a man’s black shoe.

I fold my wings- the half of me that wants to emerge –
Lunges away, tries to carry the palace on its back
The mouth-cave creaks open, arias bloom out.

I’ve attracted another mask, its pincers will hold 
my hand – grown sensitive under an enlarger
Bat orchids droop from the rafters
The ghosts only stain with their extinguishings and their births.

* * * * *

Sarah shared this poem with Selene:

Cigarette Girls

He picked us fragrant from the field
Flashing his glittery soul and throbbing, 
erased the white dashes between us.  
God’s nostril vacuumed up the headshake.

To fit behind his closed teeth 
I starved in a white tube dress,
stood cramped in a broken elevator,

I leaned on the edge of his glass ashtray 
filled with the smooth half crushed
bodies of the others.

The top of my head smoldered, shed
loose gray feathers.   I froze, stunned
he kept going, unzipping his bag

I became a cigarette, lit up and inhaled. 
The ash grew like some gray knitted thing
left burning on the concrete 

He drew another rib aching from his pack
moving forward through no effort of her own
on a conveyor belt to his mouth
She turned her neck this way and that to dislodge the tobacco,
He ripped her open; spread her out on the white sheet.

Almost erased, she lifted her head
even though it ripped off bits of hair like an old bandage,
Peeled her shoulder stinging from the page,
slipped and fell out of her own cracked shell.

In response, Selene made this image, titled “She Lifted Her Head”:

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