behind in my life, floundering
in an awful rut, so exquisitely raw
waiting for something to happen
like an alarm clock all wound up
ready to go off.
I’d like to paint the world
and I don’t want to be careful.

The emptiness of the space
ahead is appalling
feeling around in the dark
in my nakedness.
Pieces of what I want to say
yanking at me,
a high pile of tumbleweeds
twisting in my mind
until, wading in this slime,
something boils over—

a kind of permanent shape
growing in meaning
a lush dream of vermillion
soft green, deep butter yellow
dirty lavender.

I feel like the wind
breathing so deep I’ll break
so full I’m drunk
smothered with the pull
of the steep places,
kicking holes in the world
right through to the crust
of the earth, the hot part.

I am lost you know.
It’s hell and I like it—
to work like a tiger
enjoying the muddle
the holiness.

~ Cento of lines/phrases found in Georgia O’Keeffe’s letters.