Myrtle

By Ayelet Wenger

  

(O utinam a nostro secedere corpore possem)

 

    There was a sister who found a pool. 

    There was no water in the pool. 

    The commentaries say that there was no water in it

    But there were snakes and scorpions. 

    She looked and did not see herself. 

    She saw something else. 

    It fascinated her, this something else. 

    It was absent. 

    Different. 

    She leaned in and saw that the opening of the pool looked like the sides of the well where mom and dad had met. But deeper in, there was something else. Something unknown. She grasped for it, transgressing the empty pool with fingers bent towards the unfamiliar, but everything she touched turned into something she had touched. Further, and here was a hole, but she knew this too, this was the part that was made in the beginning to swallow a desert rebel, but further, but further, there was something she did not know, something that was not an echo of herself. 

    The commentaries say that her arms thinned with stretching, her complexion paled to green, and she became a mirror. We learn from this that everyone who saw her thought that she was from his nation.

Image: 

Margaret Mellis

Blue Anemone  

1957

Oil paint on board

Frame dimensions: 355 x 375 x 54 mm

Tate: T01267

©2020 Pericles at Play. Homepage paintings by Annabel Dover