Monday, September 05, 2016


Anselm Kiefer, "Breaking of the Vessels," 1990
lead, iron, glass, copper wire, charcoal, and Aquatec;
149 in x 135 1/16 x 57 in; St. Louis Art Museum

We came to live in this small house
with our keepsakes all wrapped up
in bubbles, but I still woke to a place
strewn with glass shards—likely our
cats bumping the new reading lamp,
sending it tumbling against the floor.
The neighbors had their breakages,
too, rocks tossed through two pretty
picture windows (they said “teens,”
or pointed commentary by strangers
angry with change, at us, the world.)
The way a wedding’s sealed by the
glass broken underfoot, or a hand-
blown bottle’s cracked off the pipe
and finished on a pontil rod, it’s the
transferences that are so marked—
deliberate shatterings of the fragile
holds we have on things, each other.

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