A blue glass bowl of miniature oranges.
Three inches from arm’s reach.
I eye objects in terms of distance now.
Reachable. Then not.
This morning I drop a plastic tub
of butter on the kitchen floor.
I try to reach it with my grabber, a temporary extension of my arm.
The lid slides off. The butter tips & my cat starts to lick.
The objects in my life with more significance:
Wheelchair over umbrella. Walker over work shoes. Bed tray over sunglasses.
I measure distance from hand to knee to shin to heel.
I think of Burma, miles away. The grocery store, miles away.
My father’s voice crackles through the phone, miles & miles away.
He: You were born in Burma. And then, You’re my niece, right?
I push my body upwards from my wheelchair.
I know that above the ceiling is wood & plaster & eventually sky & birds.
Objects, found & lost: my ex-husband’s brown sandals, loose feathers from a bird that my cat killed, a large smooth seed given to me by the owner of a flower shop in Tokyo.
I look down at the floor trying to remember.
The dressing stick
The dressing stick, a limb
on the edge of the green
& a twinkling star on the head
of a small bear, polydactyl paws,
matted skin, a seven-inch scar on the left hip.
She peeled the scar back & underneath found a child wearing a star hat & star
shoes. The hospital stood in the center of a large cornfield & observers
remarked at its beauty & precision.
They came bearing frankincense & Oxycontin.
They wore shields.
They could sew.
They came bearing pork & beef on platters.
They held liquid in wires.
She waved the dressing stick & the wires spelled words to her through the window
of the blue tent.
MAW SHEIN WIN’s writing has appeared in various journals including Cimarron Review, Ping-Pong, Eleven Eleven, vitriol, and most recently in the anthology Cross-Strokes: Poetry between Los Angeles and San Francisco (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions). She is a poetry editor for Rivet and was an Artist In Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Win often collaborates with visual artists and musicians, and her collaborative book with paintings by Mark Dutcher, Ruins of a glittering palace, was published by SPA/Commonwealth Projects. Along with composer, Amanda Chaudhary, she is part of musical duo Pitta of the Mind which combines poetry with abstract electronic music. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
LEONARD KOGAN is an artist who lives and works in Baltimore, MD. Exhibitions of Leonard’s works include “Wall flowers” in Herzliya Museum, “The After Light” at the Andy Warhol Factory in New York, “SUR/FACE/S” at the Nexus Project Gallery in New York, a show at the museum of Yanko-Dada in Israel, “Project Diversity” at the Sputnik Gallery in Brooklyn and others. Leonard’s art has been featured in a number of literary and art magazines, often contributing to the covers. A publication in the Little Patuxent Review issue of “Doubt” features Leonard’s recent works and an interview with the artist.