She is floating, it seems.
The distance between the soles of her shoes
and the cracked asphalt is so small really that
even ants detour around her flip-flops,
seeing no hope of continuing
forward in their original direction.
So no one can tell, but she is floating.
And the days are flying by
while she laughs them off as temporal things
With a linger aftertaste of salt
For all of the times she has stood,
black-mouthed in front of a press and laughing
For late night faulterings that deposit ink or paint into the mouth
When two hands weren't enough to hold everything
and the wrong end of the brush was held between the teeth.
For all of those times, the taste was stronger today,
As she locked her studio door and her eyes lingered
over her own clean hands
Busy with other things, and the worse for it.
I wrote this in 2006, as my time as a professional art student was coming to an end, and I remember so clearly the fear that I was about to end my life as an artist out of necessity: entering the real world, having bills to pay and no time to be what i pretended during college years I could be.
As I clean and pack up my workspace at my art center job and prepare to travel to St. Louis to sell the things I make to people, making a living at being a creative person and an artist, I am so amazed and thankful.