wants all your breath. Smoke so dense the outside’s disappeared, smeared, occluded

thick unbreathable stagnant distances what we will stop at. Or be stopped by what w

ill eat our hands/arms should we try to part the caramel-thick smoke. Leaning against

these breathing cedar redwood tobaccoleaf umber sepia all smudged terracotta water-

leaching clay-smeared lalala-ing brown study (it must be a Brown Study) where the b

lack lines of thoughtstudy approach the fog/fug stop, go back, comeback, run alongsid

e the fog/fug & off away into the whitewhere beyond the painting (other wall entirely)

& return, stop-going, going down exactly where the fog/fug would end if it had come s

o far and, shaking itself off, the black thinking line (it wants to go somewhere with yo

u) until it makes a dot/smudge & stops. No neednowhere further to go. Enough of thin

king. Cinnamon breathes into/through the paint & goes wherever it might need to go b

eyond/around/behind the fog away from eyes (your eyes, the wall’s one eye, Time’s e

ye). It finds your hands and gives them back. They trace the brown-thought line (what

it wants), one finger at a time, over the whole trail. Come away. You’re your own now.

Devon Miller-Duggan has had poems in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie, Christianity and Literature, The Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, The Hollins Critic and a longish list of really little magazines. She’s won an Academy of American Poets Prize, a fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts, an editor’s prize in Margie, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches for the Department of English at the University of Delaware. Her first book, Pinning the Bird to the Wall appeared from Tres Chicas Books in November 2008.

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