A box. A line in place as place. Four lines as space, as road. Strings strapped over the neck of a red cello are not mere decoration or chore. A duty, instrument, vessel. Small-talk ready, pluck, and bow. It is room, a red room wood can be and what can be is statement of its work.


Nail as bed, ten or twelve as picket. As glass. Keep away from flame and fire. A hand is a room of moon and halves. Apply. The room as noon. Let dry. The room as night when words are more and touch is not just touch but close touch and some heat. Lose the light to make permanent the room and have.


Outside, a watercolor and trees like hair brushes, starry-eyed ladies carrying odd vases. The figures were unfinished, half wiped away, careening madly into the softened dream that cleaves along the paved road beside the train. I had seen this all before.


Stacey Tran is an editor at the poetry press Poor Claudia and co-editor of Pocket Notes, an online journal of process-based ephemera. Her most recently completed writing project is Scrim, a syntactic erasure of John Ashbery’s book, Three Poems.