Photo Story: Breaths Caught on His Echoes

A Robert Rauschenberg painting that is all black with much texture.When he burned, she watched from the window as the casket shifted toward the chamber, as the cardboard lid vibrated, shuddered apart at the seam to reveal his hands, a moment before they would blossom in the fire that reflected in the metal frame of the door—the bloom that would arc in delicate peels, gray crepe flakes folding back like flower bulb sheaths, collapsing in stirs of ashes.

At night, when she needed, when her breaths caught on his echoes, blue note flecks from his voice, he palmed from the bottoms, from the swallows, to lull her stranded heart.



C. B. Stuckey teaches English at North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared in The New Ray Bradbury Review and Broad River Review.


Artist: Robert Rauschenberg
Title: Untitled [glossy black painting], ca. 1951
Image courtesy of SF MOMA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *