How to Cry and Understand Difficult Art | by Hannah Craig

Little cold surprises, like multiplication problems. Like a rose thorn from your thumb, from a soft, muddy spot in your thumb. Something between your thighs that comes away red, like a stoplight, like not-this-time. I couldn’t say this any other way. Like the blue blanket wrapped around the man lying in the middle of the road. Bold from drink he says take me home, baby. His skull running dark drink-water down the side of his face. A network of exposed capillaries in the volcano ash of his hair. Like how time is rewriting your hometown away from soybeans and molasses. Away from steel and rivets. Away from grain silos and limestone quarries; in two hundred years it will be a seaside town. In two hundred years they will say pears were these small goblets of gold. Little artifacts of thirst, little cellophane darts.  I couldn’t say it. The silence means it is my imagination. What was said or felt.  A room siphoning off an endless liquid. Salvage, construction. Even in despair, the body’s pipework continues. Nothing to understand this month. Rip it all out. Rip it out.



Hannah Craig lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of This History that Just Happened (Parlor Press, 2017). Her work has recently appeared in journals like the Mid-American Review, North American Review, and Copper Nickel.