Sunday, November 6, 2022



after Nick Flynn 

I take curtains off a west-facing window, fold them tightly, peer out into
the open. Not much to see: a dog, a house, a street. Paint a diagram on
the glass with a brush’s bristles fanned so the paint is not too thick, so
light threads through. I feel best with my phone tucked under blankets.
Walk to the store, where I meet a woman who needs just one cup of
flour. Sure. I bring her to my house, give her coffee and one cup of flour
while she tells me of the mountain she has just returned from, all its
height and weight, what a disjuncture returning, and back home she
found a fire had consumed all her old photographs and blankets, leaving
only a brick cocoon and an aluminum-rod bed. Oh dear. I blow over
steam and the dog outside barks. But what of you? she asks. Tell me of
you. I say, Nothing much here. But well, let me show you something. A
detail. Outside we peer through the painted panes as though we are
light. Her face settles, sinks, and she backs away slowly, holding the
flour to her chest. A swampy yard has overtaken my feet, so when I
try to follow, I find I cannot. I cannot leave my feet, so I survey the
yard, which reminds me of a stream. The road: the sound of boats.
The barking dog approaching bites at the swamp around my feet and
my ankles until I am free. I float up the hill as the rains begin, my eyes
still on the window. I don’t know what she saw, of course, what feared.
All the furniture from the side of the road; all the decorations mass
produced. From the outside looking in, I could be anyone, really. But
the bristled paint; the panes. I look away from the house to my hands
where the flour in the rain has become batter. I look down at my feet,
which are fish now. I look down to the yard, a river. I look to the house,
my boat, my home. I float. I go inside, unbury my phone from its bed of
rest. I wish to know what makes one one. I ask the internet. Who’s afraid
of? Battered fish sticks. Recipes for. Fear? It’s only a word. Run? It’s only
time. Take time. Rest. Your boat awaits. The dog barks. It’s bobbing
outside the painting. I open the window.


Aimee Wright Clow is a writer and book designer living in Durham, NC with their 

cats, Bifo and Susan G. Their writing and video poems have appeared in journals 

including Salt Hill, The Bennington Review, [PANK], A Gathering of the Tribes, 

Can We Have Our Ball Back, Ghost Proposal, and The Lifted Brow. Their book arts 

project, A Brief Map of Albany, is available from Utilities Included.


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