Illustration: paintbrush can in front of window, train across the field


Today, the clouds take her back
to painting with acrylics,
cramming too many brushstrokes into heaven,
fish scales and horse tails,
even two thin contrails, and billows
exactly like this: lavender-dark anvils,
rapture-white bouffants.

Wonder is overused
       and underfelt.

She thinks what she is trying to capture
is more than harmony:
the overblown gardens, the wild
roses, the stripes of green light falling across trees—
what she thought
were late snowdrops, some insect’s spit cocoons,
guarding a separate

seed. Outside of a painting, who would accept
this light, these colors? Even an honest camera couldn’t
give back the small teeth
of the wind, the whistle
of the side street, the new speed
of your heartbeat. Art is the only eye large enough
for two to look through at once.

Bethany F. Brengan is a freelance writer and editor who splits her time between the beautiful Olympic Peninsula and the questionable corners of the internet. Her poetry has appeared in The Gordon Square Review, The 2015 Poet’s Market, and CV2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. She can be found at and

Paintbrushes illustration by C.B. Auder.

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