#05: The Sick Child, 1907 – Edvard Munch.

by James Nixon


Her swimming fringe reaches to exhibit its
jazz hands, but her mother is gassed with
mourning. She thinks her slowed daughter
has tuberculosis or consumption, but is
actually coughing on flotsam otter fur and
shrapnel kelp. Her delirium is drowning.
Mother has misplaced her tears, so shame
arches her neck as she maps the wrinkles
on her wrists. The problem is the ice caps
are history and the house had, now is, a sea
view. Mother hasn’t noticed yet the air in
her pushing shallower, that the room is full
of ocean. But if she opens her chilling eyes
to barnacled shoes and algoid mahogany
she might realise.

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