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, 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.