The Atelier in Winter
Micah Stack

We solder together a theory;
we dismantle it the following day.

We revere the whole and
laugh at the parts in front of us:

dis-shelved and plinthed, an angry
bust of Dad in a wash of flowers.

We shroud our shrine in corrugated
steel so the snow won't get in.

So the mothballs can't get out. Stern
lamps deepen the shadows

in each corner. Sometimes we swear
Dad is smoldering in places.

We played with an octagonal design
for the space. The rectangle

seemed more suitable.
Perspective needs delimiting.

He always reproached us for lack of restraint.

We became intricate parquet
floors like Cubist chessboards.

Monotonous as memory itself,
We match the piano perfectly.

Swimming in tradition and décor.
Occasionally we rinse him in linseed

oil, decorate him with glitter-gloss
and party hats. He never really

succeeds in looking festive, but at times
we see the edges of a cornered smirk.

The back door of the atelier creaks.
It has a rattlesnake voice all its own.

A little voice that rasps: Pay attention --
patterns are emerging.