Jessica Redington

The Breathing Canvas

I have a seagull in my room
It is pasted onto a thick canvas and seems quite content
The fire orange slips out from under the edges and between the thin strokes
Some pieces are thick and in some, the textured base slips through
color so sheer that the chemical undercoat seems like a waste
The bottom right corner holds no scribbled name

My mother claims it is unfinished
that its place belongs not on my wall but left under her pile of other nameless dreams
from where I saved the seagull lies other scraps of life;
a beautiful terracotta roof that fades to hold no structure beneath besides a few pencil scribbles;
a view of glassy water with a sun, rise or set, resting on its edge;

but these lives stay glued to the floor
until someone else-with more wall space-comes to reach in and survive

Table of Contents