To Francesca Woodman
where do you end and the world begin?
you want to be wind vapor
half flower half vase
tree bark door
you become line shape
you invisible the self
we raise our eyelids to your frame
in this one your nakedness crawls
toward a white calla you bend
into our looking watch us shift
in our seat as the lens eats you
you are a brief installation of curved
bone and wall
jumping from a window
you are both sidewalk and falling
did you think the camera would catch you?
Here a cigarette dangles between her thin fingers;
she sleeps through conversation and ash.
Here she closes her eyes and the sea stops moving.
And here she is a boneyard of unspoken words,
salt in the quiet throat of her marriage.
Here she is the green whiff of childhood.
Here she is sparrowed at the edge of the earth,
exiled in her dying skin. Here, like sorrow,
she is liquid in the bones.
And here is the day she will be gone, her eyes resting
no longer upon the tulips, their white
petals, like teeth, fall to the ground.
Here she is hair, and nail, and noise in the brain.
And here, dear body, be still. Time is the only lover
that will touch her now.
SHARON VENEZIO received an MA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She is co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets and the recipient of the Mark Linenthal Award for her poem “Meanwhile.” Her forthcoming collection, The Silence of Doorways, will be released by Moon Tide Press in March 2013. Her poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Transfer, and numerous other journals. She can be found at sharonvenezio.com.