Laura Carter

Laura Carter lives, writes, and teaches in Atlanta.

Image Recorded as Stillness Instrument

After the hint of a brisure slides off into the underbelly of a lightness that can’t be held, the sun is flummoxed by a new poverty, of course: and night falls in to the object of a paradox, but what’s paradox when nothing’s pure? Not even sea is pure anymore, nor light, and love is not an instrument much inclined toward forgetting. To forgive is the highest human order, or so some may say, as if to make time into an ordinary plot of “now”: birds fallen off, a new tooth grown in where there used to be a milkworm, the country on fire with rage to contain those who have chosen to speak out against injustice. (We’ve been eating solid food ever since.) Not even sea is fullness, and as the philosophers might say, philosophes are the new bureaucrats, waiting for the time clock like everybody else. I get on an ordinary MARTA train and ride down into the south side of this town, where no one hardly dares to go: “it’s a bad neighborhood,” they might say, or, “don’t go to the west now.” People hum in their old cars (dilapidated as buildings that will possibly be torn down, all because hunger brings the pioneers down here). My questions several into the city: “were you there in the ‘60s? were you there before?” Every other glance toward the ones I cherish becomes a way of eschewing beauty in favor of the razor, nakedness, another way of writing the plot. (Every other glance becomes a gaze and I get off the train and head back home to where the light is not, because hindered by my body.)