The Almost-Symmetry

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December 1, 2014 by The Citron Review

By Kathleen Boyle
 

True Aristocracy is in Being a Nomad

Those who settle down lose their lineage – Anatolian proverb

 

It is not a shard of glass but a fragment
of wool, slit weave, now-relic of the Ottomans,

traceable from the pattern, considered floral.
Though if you look close at this museum piece

the design is two crossed knives,
or a pair of pruning shears, or one

small figure inside another: a child or ghost,
depending on whether your eyes focus

on red or creamwhite, on positive or negative
space, on whether you are distracted by

so many broken threads at the edges. This red is
the color of undersea coralfans waving

with the water currents. You might ask:
where has this fraction been since

the fifteenth century? Size of a doormat
or kitchen rug, was it buried in a sand drift,

or just piled under other kilms,
left in someone’s corner, a back closet

in Bursa or South Central Anatolia, until
discovered, collected, carbon dated?

There is the dovetail slit and almost-symmetry,
for there is the imbalance of a small semicircle

in the corner, blue being a color recently
arrived from India. We can measure

weft per inch but not what happened
to the remainder.




Kathleen Boyle’s poetry has appeared in Zyzzyva, Poet Lore, the Bellingham Review, and numerous other literary journals. She recently moved into a house with a resident persimmon tree, and is eagerly awaiting the fruit’s ripening.

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One thought on “The Almost-Symmetry

  1. […] The Almost-Symmetry, a poem by Kathleen Boyle, in the Winter 2014 issue of The Citron Review. […]

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