Margaryta Golovchenko


after Joan Mitchell’s Untitled, about 1969

I would like to inform you that madame

has been cancelled as a form of address — so

has lady/miss/kind nurturing soul, the one

who always feeds others before herself

only to end up with a spoon stuck to the roof of her mouth

from hurry, teeth a springing trap.


I ask you to set aside what you know about the feminine —

no point saying forget because presumptions

take root faster than dandelions

will realize they’re swelling with pride —

so that you can look at me like at a smudged streak across a canvas:



promising, open

to interpretation

but with something to say.


Dwell on the thought for as long as it takes you to realize

that when I turn my head to have a look I am not responding nor giving attention,

am not basking on both ends of the sunbeam. My neck cranes

to help the eyes take in each scrap of colour

that your grayscale gaze dutifully categorized



About the Contributors