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​karen ashburner



To Blink a Red Tear


I will pose with all the constancy and rigidity impossible to live. I will give you the arrangement of my hair, falling down my back. I will show the virtues of my arms and legs, the scars on my knees, the moles on my neck, the freckle I carry in the palm of my hand. Pencil my shape with the economy of line. Emulate the swirl of my hip, the curve of my thigh, my fingers as they press against the shadow of your mouth. Find the salient plane in the bend of my wrist, the commonplace gesture in the bones of my hand. Take my violent limbs; execute a tasteful compromise between truth and good design. I want a curious ribbon of light moving up and over my ribs. I want the long, gentle curve of a well formed calve. I want the ball of the foot and the bone of the ankle. I want the bend of the elbow, the fold of soft sleeves. I want the texture, the contour, and the shape. I want all of the ugly, the fight and despair. I want the basket of apples and the pair of black shoes. I want the sorrow of fidelity, and the solemn oath. I want the graceful arc of the top of my lip; I want the delineation and the impression of my form. I want my eyes to gaze out in a baleful hatred. I want to blink a red tear down the pale of my cheeks. 






Karen Ashburner lives and works in North Carolina. A list of her publications can be found at www.karenashburner.com. You can follow her on Twitter @sweetrocketsky.