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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #38

Clouds at Dawn. James Hamilton Shegogue (American, 1806 – 1872). Watercolor over graphite. 6.3 × 12.5 cm (2 1/2 × 4 15/16 in.). National Gallery of Art open access.

Cloud, Me

Cloud-spine elongates,

and vertebrae, ribby knuckles,

separate, form a gap

before the vaporous pelvis. Sky

flexes and stretches. Clouds

form and float, wisping into shapes

that reflect the body,

remind me I am that. That sky

missing half a side of ribs.

Whole back now missing sky.

My cloud self. Sky missing me.

So far away. So near. Complete and

lacking. Always the there and not.

Always air currents slipping

to dissolve the clouds.

One last thought. Always

some form blown away.

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