Available Light/ Rothenberg, Smith, Goldin

3)   Rothenberg- Smith-Goldin

Deep inside the cave, a red ochre animal
gallops across the wall. She painted it
to summon food. She painted it to banish
nightmare. The painting is a lamp that shines
on the maker and sometimes the stranger
who wanders into silence with a shiver.


It’s all about what you’re not supposed
to see: the body’s inner pink. A quick
private blankness in the back of a moving
taxi. Yesterday I rounded a curve on the trail


and there in a sunny meadow stood two
young women, just talking, but nearly naked:
one wearing only black underpants, the other
beginning to pull on jeans. In memory, their full
breasts glow so brightly I can’t see their faces.


I kept walking fast, hunting for something
privately. Unmarked graves, someone told me,
for slaves lived here. As if I could honor
any kind of hunger just by looking at its traces.

Authors of the article

Carolyn Capps teaches drawing at the University of Virginia and has recently exhibited work at the Chroma Gallery and The Bridge in Charlottesville, Virginia. She grew up in Black Mountain, North Carolina and earned her MFA from the University of Georgia. “We Are Not Our Work” is her first digital collection.

Lesley Wheeler’s poetry collections are The Receptionist and Other Tales; Heterotopia, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; and Heathen. Her poems and essays recently appeared or are forthcoming in Subtropics, Gettysburg Review, Rattle, and Poetry, and she blogs about poetry at www.lesleywheeler.org Wheeler is the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.