Furniture Movers

Julia Sholl

Do you know how to walk backwards into a room so the ghosts can’t see your face? Two furniture movers transport a bin of unhappy portraits into the attic. You are not see-through. The ink in the sepia photographs holds haggard poses. Wrinkly young people scowl at no one. You carry the front of the box. The attic is full of souls sweating. Their proximity thickens the air like birds or drowning. You step into the attic backwards. I do not like to do this and prefer to sit on my porch observing portraits. I collect people remembered only in printed pictures. You trip and the box falls between two unlucky ones. Glass shatters and unhappy people on sepia porches grin. Their small grimy faces turn from you. You are not unlucky. We are only remembered in ink. They have seen our faces. You turn toward the sunlight. I am just a sunspot on this moment. I cannot see your face. You spill ink on the only remaining memory of me.