Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

Family in Prismacolor

By Adam Spiegelman

Imperial Violet.

My mother wraps herself in her scarf and sleeps until noon.

The first time winter comes we all try our hardest

to be Scholar and Sorcerer and the ceiling ends up leaking 

And there’s no one who can answer the question

‘How have you been?’ 

In more than 3 words.

Spruce Green.

None of the mugs match.

The silverware is beyond sorting.

In the darkness my fingers grow sore reordering the names of missing

Queens and Knaves.

My aunt doesn’t let her shadow exceed her standing height.

In the bedrooms out of sight above I bury a hunchback’s heart in stacks of old magazines and velvet curtains.

French Grey.

My father and I used to play soldiers in the snow

Storming high towers and leaping across frozen moats

As neighbors looked through the woods fearing horrors without names.

A pearl cannonball loses itself arcing through the noon sun

And is careful not to stir any sleepers in its wake.

In late afternoon my mother boils water on the stove and playing dead is more difficult 

And more familiar and the icicles are never quite at ease.

Warm Black.

There is never cream in the refrigerator

Or a full suit of spades.

It must be odd for...

I kick around the dust...

There is a horrendous roar...

if the mountains call for...

when you’re at the bottom...

I love you mint chocolate...

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