About the Feature

Studio Visit

Photo by Caleb Salomons 


Paint over the sketch of train tracks in Toledo, Ohio,
until the canvas is the ochre of cobblestones in Toledo, Spain.

Paint over the cobblestones in Toledo, Spain,
until an alley darkens with the crimson of an hour in Toledo, Ohio.

Paint over the hour in Toledo, Ohio,
until all that remains is the cadmium red of a minute in Toledo, Spain.

Scrape one wobbly line into the surface. This is me—
the scratch inside a minute.


I am wiping my palette knife when Grandmother invades the studio.
She says, You’ve soiled your mother’s blouse.

I unfold the Peter Pan–collared scrap. “I found it in the trash.”
I point to a torn sleeve and stains—marinara sauce.

She studies my rag. Brush marks—
that’s all she sees. Folds the cotton as one would silk.

Insists I dry-clean the painting rag.

About the Author

Eva Heisler’s books include Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press, 2013) and Drawing Water (Noctuary Press, 2013). Poems have appeared in many journals, including Bomb, Crazyhorse, Tupelo Quarterly, and Poetry Northwest. Honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award and fellowships at MacDowell and Millay Arts.