Interview with a Sculpture by Nina Lindsay

Interview with a Sculpture

It was the last
last day of summer last summer.

I don’t remember well since then.
Something’s stilled my appetite

for the clear light of autumn,
though not my taste for it. It just doesn’t fill me.

Before she took the chisel to me I was liquid—

like that physicist’s cat that’s both dead and alive
and you can’t know, until it is or it isn’t.

I knew what I was
and nobody else needed to.

Now, it’s okay, you can take a look,
I can let myself be an utter wreck for a minute.

Gold and iron, stone and leaf,
wind, dust, flame, tissue.

I think that you are supposed to come away filled,
as in autumn,

when the sky steps back and disrobes
and the gorgeous distant cold forces us to spin off light.

Like finding the low note in the song. Way down there.
You give it up—

it fills you.
Don’t be embarrassed

by the empty space,
the eventual silence.

She had to decide when to put the chisel down.
Shard, form, spine.

At some point I will collect myself and move on.


Nina Lindsay is the author of two collections of poetry, “Because” and “Today’s Special Dish.” Her work has appeared in the Colorado Review, the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Rattle and other journals.

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