Harriet Yale Russell, Nemba, oil on canvas, courtesy Evoke Contemporary

Here is there is everywhere and still

I feel I am missing the coordinates

of place.

Weight falls slowly upwards through hand-quilted evenings.

Keys closed in the medicine cabinet because

I’m afraid I’ll lock myself in

to routine. Adventure grows white mold in its picture frame

while I try to fall asleep at 4 a.m. Mirrors are

roadblocks in the night: spruce


burns incense on the doorstep. I dance

with my lampshade shadow and

this is ecstasy.


We wandered

the Polaroid Museum, but apple-pie tan just

isn’t a skin color.


“I’m sorry I can’t be there today”

We shatter ourselves

with flattery and end up in bed humming

the frayed edges of lullabies.