Under and Above

cindy #46
As a child,
they had tried to scare her
with stories of Jaws,
and other undersea dangers.
Her mother wanted her to be safe,
which meant keeping her as close to shore
as possible.
Now, out there, alone, bobbing,
she clearly understood
just how vast and unforgiving a mother
the sea was, or could be,
and how, by radical turn,
she had become the water baby,
unafraid to submerge.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Folds

cindy # 36
Backlit to claim form,
the shadow slipped over her
and bared its longing.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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At Present

cindy #39
Everything dissolved anyway,
was how she consoled herself.
She would do something,
she would plant yellow daisies
in the garden
first thing tomorrow morning,
yellow seemed appropriate, yes,
even though the idea
of morning
seemed far-off
and left her feeling
queasy and unsure.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Against the Grain

cindy #83
Two things clawed at her mind—
this was no way for a brain to behave,
and why couldn’t she remember
the fucking mantra,
it was designed to help
and she sure as shit
had paid enough for it.
As she considered alternatives,
including taking another sick day,
green
and gray
washed over her,
with tacit indifference.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Cabin Fever

cs_37
A getaway,
he had reasoned brightly,
it will be good for us,
give us a chance to reconnect.
Why did everything he said
always sound perfectly rehearsed,
a conviction born of rote directive?
Was it the way he spoke,
the way she listened,
a tense combination of both?
Yes,
she had heard herself softly mimicking,
it could be good for us,
and later, at the cabin,
she found herself wondering
if compliance was the same as lying,
or simply a natural extension
of the fiction
which their lives had agreed upon
as a matter of necessary course.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Remains of the Day

cindy-sherman-untitled-film-still-9
From where she sat,
the house seemed to be
swaddled in sheer gauze,
and flickering, like a light
that was about to go out.
She considered adjusting her view
to dispel what must be an illusion,
but there was something terribly satisfying
about the polarizing effects
of her, here,
them, there,
and what would happen, if.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)

 

 

 

 

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Soap Serial

cindy #10
If someone
would have told her
it would be like giving birth
to a checklist of domestic
servitude
and falsely fresh
produce
on a numbingly repeatable basis,
she might have seriously pursued
her childhood dream
of running away with the circus
and giving her body
ala contortion
to a wildly applauding
yet hands-off audience.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Minor to Major

cindy #25
Had she done the right thing?
And by right thing
what or whose standards
was she applying
to measure the moral correctness
or lack thereof
of what she had done?
She had grown sick
and tired of considering
every angle and X-factor,
sick and tired
of a brain
hellbent on sabotage.
Self-forgiveness,
as a conceivable balm,
seemed faraway
and unreal,
but she would travel
whatever vagaries of distance
kept at bay
who she was
from who she was
determined to become.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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It’s Not What You Think

cindy #47
As the water
softened the earth
in the garden,
she peered out
from under her sunhat
to gauge
if that dark thing
coiled by the fence
was really a snake,
and if so, by god,
could it be smiling?

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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Inspired by Real Events

cindy #34
It wasn’t her in the book,
but it could be.
Why couldn’t it be?
If she modeled herself
correctly,
assuming the strictest code
of due fiction,
she could rival
the heroine between the covers
and rest easy,
knowing others were escaping
into the story of her life.

 

(Photo by Cindy Sherman)
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