Photo by Jack Douglass on Unsplash
Somerset County Cold Case Photo, 1980
Shot from its stoop, this garden shed brims March, a ripe compendium of glistenings—yellow packets of seeds like solitaire across its workbench, new gloves still tagged. The pegboard’s collars shine the throats of screwdrivers by size, two pliers gaped to Xs, a hammer’s glare, and slender streaks where fingers grazed the dust before each reach was made. An upturned barrow’s wheel divides the air. Impossible to count how many flower pots are stacked inside the largest one, cracked clay, beside the rototiller’s blades festooned with cobwebs still— one winter’s silver stitchery. This fading Polaroid would lead us to believe that silver is the same as the facedown widow’s hair whose shipwrecked body sank inside the doorframe. The shallow of her back is caked with potting soil from four bags (that emptied blew across her feet) the killer poured to compensate for strangling’s lack of gore, perhaps, the dawn’s orange yawn, a rash dismay his handiwork was too pristine, retaining order he had found too frail, and slumbering, unchanged.
A Dark Pool
Laura Knight, c. 1908 - 1918
Her crimson dress, a bugled artery, flares in the coastal breeze. Our figure stands bold as a wayward milkmaid who fled the dread we call betrothal. This is her rock, worn smooth by tides that rise to crash its face above the eddied pool we must presume sends back her wavered form each time she stares into the bobbing pink larghissimo of jellyfish. Their tentacles fan out beneath her sandy feet perched in a crook, gull-like. How far away two husbands are is measured by her calm. They’ve left Lamorna’s bells again, a painter and her sunlit muse, to clamber slipping up the moss-furred cliffs.