by Terri Brown-Davidson
Where do ghosts go
When they peregrinate
Off the astral plane?
I saw my sister during one séance in a gray
Astral haze. Her hair seemed limned
With an idea of yellow hair, little thready
Wisps. She was
Miniscule to begin with, had shrunk to the
Scant three ounces the spirit is reputed
To weigh. After the séance, I put my hair
Up in a coiffed architectural mess
To remind myself that I still lived inside
My skin. O wholeness
Of me in the flesh, invisible blood fueling me
Up toward the masters, who can observe me
More clearly than any human being might,
Hilma-Me swimming in the brilliant red blood
That I never designed. What I want is to be
Reborn as a crescent, a cube, a rectangle,
A sentient object, geometry at its purest:
FOOTNOTE: Hilma af Klint changed our understanding of art history when it was discovered that she—not Kandinsky nor Mondrian, as previously believed—“invented” abstractionism in art. Profoundly affected by the death of her ten-year-old sister, af Klint investigated the spiritual practices that were prevalent in her time, and became part of a group called “The Five” that was interested in automatic writing and forms of communicating with the dead. A mystic, af Klint believed she spoke to spirits she dubbed the “High Masters” during séances and trance states, and the masters guided her to produce her paintings. She is the subject of a current film called Hilma, starring Lena Olin.
Terri Brown-Davidson’s first book of poetry, The Carrington Monologues, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her first novel, Marie, Marie: Hold on Tight, was published to excellent reviews, and she was interviewed about the novel in The Writer. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in hundreds of journals as well as in the anthology Triquarterly New Writers. She was awarded a Yaddo fellowship, a New Mexico Fiction Writers Fellowship, and the AWP Intro Award in Poetry.