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2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  A Life

Artwork by Mario Loprete

A Life

James P. Roberts

"the beautiful formed things caught at the wrong moment"

 -- Michael Ondaatje

i will always see her as she was

naked   in the shower   soap suds

streaming freely, molded to the contours

of her skin   shift of colors  transparent

that is how she was, she always was

until a malign bubble burst

flooding white light through her brain

a tremble   a spasm   a fall

a noise where no noise should be

her wet hair   tangled   like thin brown snakes

splayed across still – oh so still – flesh

not even the hoped for rise of taut breasts

only water  water falling on open empty eyes

James P. Roberts is the author of 15 books of poetry, science fiction and fantasy, literary biography and baseball history. His most recent collection of poetry, One Hundred Breaths, was selected as the winner of the 2020 Portage Press Poetry Book Contest and published by Portage Press in June of 2020. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mario Loprete is an Italian artist who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catanzaro. His Concrete Sculptures series makes use of personal clothing. Imbued within the works, his memory and his DNA activate within the viewer a mode of postmodern archeology that transforms his pieces into urban artifacts. 

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