2016 & earlier
When I was little, my Great-grandma Weiss’s tin spoons got chewed up by the sink disposal and Mama cried. She was always complained about the rusting tin roof. I can hear it in the rain and feel it in July, even more since the magnolia tree got eaten up by lightning; since the oak was stripped and left the streetlamps naked. Without the moss I feel naked. South Georgia is dripping, the oak limbs are dripping, and the memories are sweltering, rusting and rootless, breaking down into the same material they came from. Their memories shimmer, quivering like inexhaustible creatures. Paint simplifies and re-stitches the fragments of my memories. Gives them a body to inhabit.
There are colors in these fiddle fumes—the red clay ditches where we played and someone else drowned. Lying on the red carpet beneath the pews, Mama’s fingernails during church. The out-of-tune piano in the red dining room bouncing off the humid, heat-warped windows. There are only so many colors in the world, but so many worlds. Gold—my teacher told me it meant wealth and I saw something else: my sister’s gold bracelet that greens my wrist. Grandpa Fred’s gold watch, still beating. The gold baby ring on my pinky from someone I never met.