Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2017  Vol. 16 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Sara Turing’s Archive

Box 1: Childhood Drawings

Early, we see lines that take no notice of the page’s end. The child treats the world as scroll or maybe wall, the hand unfurling full of black wax, touching everything, making parts for its singers: high notes prick the ceilings, the house keeps the continuo at night, a door scratching its frame, a living laundry hum.





Next, we see the child become
obsessed with frames, in which he finds
a world enough. A house’s windows
show the day’s compartments:
dinner, soap and water. Sleep
a graph of Zs, an uphill train
of endings. Now I know my ABCs,
nexttime won’tyou—
Start again tomorrow, sun
fixed in its corner, light gloves up.
All bodies thickly bordered, never
leaving home without their shadows.





When the child

reaches nine or ten,
infinity begins

to vanish: skin
no more contin-

uous. The highway’s
blacktop pocked

with holes. Water
takes the shape

of its container;
cirrus can’t be reached

for interview.
In this phase,

the page, the hour,
the neighborhood

only end and end.





But then see him enter
the years of loop and spiral,
shapes that cradle soft

bodies of gastropods
he picks up on the beach.
A hardened hurricane. Wave tamed

before it breaks. Which when sung
from head to end and back again,
begins to sound—ear pressed

close to the opening—
something like round, something like
what was once the one world.  

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