Archive > Vol. X no. Z
portrait by Gwen John
I don’t have you alive — just this flat memory sketched in black and white, two centuries old. My brief: to bring you back into vivid dimension, a holy now. The nuns want you in each room, like heating. Thirteen yous, your eyes everywhere. Foundress, foundry. I am known for versions. Unlike Galatea, you won’t rise biddable and milky from hard matter. I will put the hard matter back into your peaceable hand arrangement. Iron. Complexity. Huge hands, they won’t stay folded in a feminine ending, their energy a concertina. That’s the gesture before a laugh large enough to shake the steeple. And look at the mannish lean forward of your shoulder, a shrug, a challenge, not angled to submit. Your habit will be granite cliff-face, not penitence in some drab variant on scratchy. You will gaze at us full frontal, wry lipped, your smile is irony, will send: you called me. Here I quip.