An A-frame house is the letter inside,
a letter I read, a letter I write. It’s begun
a hundred times already. A litany, volcanic, from basement to
attic. The ink smudged irrevocable, something
atrophied in photocopy. Along the left margin,
a wing’s begun. At bottom, an action painter’s spasm.
A statement begins we should and ends with
a cabin in northern Michigan. The dog I said I’d walk
arrives at your place in Oregon. Amicably, the letter
asserts, we can live together sometimes,
apart all of the others. A frame is a house inside
a dream. On the dream-stove in the dream-kitchen is
an egg in a frame. We’ve been married there already or
again. We jump the broom quite often. Are you
aghast or are you beaming? Here you are
again, filed in the previous decade, that era of tactile reality,
among the abaci and acid-rock, the b-sides, bus rides,
and Battleship; before alphabet, before birth,
analogous, aubergine, an August afternoon.
Rose Swartz is a writer and visual artist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She loves to travel and most recently spent six months teaching in Beijing, China. She is currently teaching English at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan and also making prints of the photographs she took while traveling in China and Southeast Asia. Her writing has previously appeared in Carrier Pigeon Magazine, The Kenyon Review Online, Front Porch Journal, and Asylum Lake Magazine.
“My favorite old thing is a pale green coffee cup that has been sitting upturned on a stick at an artestian spring well out behind my grandfather’s cabin in Northern Michigan. The cup has been there as long as anyone in my family can recall. When visiting the cabin, it is tradition to drink some of the spring water out of the cup (after wiping out the cobwebs, of course).”
Back to Issue 2: Old Things