by Jeri Theriault

“Untitled” Circa 1975–1976
      Louise Nevelson

She breaks surface
and sentiment, lets black
hold all hues       hushed
and close
black                   blocks
and circles
box beam         barn board.
black splinters
street gleanings
and detritus

she shapes clues
in laddered slats
and binds text:
the letter  r  rigged
over guts or      gears
rumbling /
the low down L
with O in its lap — half
a tight verb snugging
the table leg      I
near back-to-back
arcs and vertical
dashes — I look.
I love.  I lose.
            She writes
this spell
safe house
from her own night