Annette M. Sisson

Outside the Frame
                after Remedios Varo’s painting “Rupture”

A woman resists the canvas, her journey—
               silent birth, the slit between gravid

doors. She descends wide stairs
               as if steps were shallow coffins

of ancestors’ bones. If she reaches
              the flat path, she might breathe

new air—or be locked away.
              She inches down, again, again,

measured, her feet subtle, sun
              brazen on her body, beyond the walls

one radiant, the other dull.
              Bare trees tempt the cloud

burning behind her—she rebuffs the wind
              that whips muted flames and thrashes

curtains sideways. Rapacious eyes
              observe her flight, cannot fathom

how she moved the heavy gates,
              nor see flecks of copper sky

in her gathered cloak. They do not mark
               the sinews of the woman’s delicate feet,

                             her stark passage       the light        frameless

About the Author

Annette Sisson’s poems can be found in Birmingham Poetry Review, Nashville Review, Typishly, One, The West Review, HeartWood Literary Magazine, Sky Island Journal, and others. Her first full-length book, Small Fish in High Branches, is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press (2022); her chapbook, A Casting Off, was published by Finishing Line (2019). She was named a Mark Strand Poetry Scholar for the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a 2020 BOAAT Writing Fellow, and winner of The Porch Writers’ Collective’s 2019 Poetry Prize.