We fought over fire as flames fed the smoke.
Later, you kissed me, and your lips shed the smoke.
Protests turn and cities burn. A dream deferred
explodes. Smothering justice will spread the smoke.
I savored roasted marshmallows and blistered
hot dogs. What I recall first instead? The smoke.
Tendril of milk in coffee; steam so thick it
scarfs my mouth. In everything, we read the smoke.
Flames transform blueprints and stories. My body’s
a fire-vessel. A phoenix threads the smoke.
When fever architects my dreams, the song leaves
my city, music drops, and words wed the smoke.
Christine, you know ghost scents: bacon and bourbon,
rose and cigarettes. It’s why you dread the smoke.
Main Avenue to Court House (laser scan)
Copyrighted © by Brian T. Rex. All rights reserved.
Reproduced here with designer’s permission.
These ekphrastic pieces are truly collaborative in nature, representing conversations and studies of each other’s work that are reciprocal and multidimensional. The pairings are a “slice through” of a more holistic artistic dynamic as opposed to the typical one-way response (writer responds to art) that ekphrastic endeavors usually produce.
is South Dakota’s poet laureate, and the author of several books of poetry, including Untrussed (University of New Mexico Press, 2016) and Bluewords Greening (Terrapin Books, 2016), winner of the 2018 Whirling Prize. This professor of English at South Dakota State University edited the poetry anthology South Dakota in Poems (South Dakota State Poetry Society, October 2020), and looks forward to the forthcoming release of her book The Poet & The Architect by Terrapin Books in 2021.
Find her work at: www.christinestewartnunez.com
is an Associate Professor and the Head of the Architecture Department at South Dakota State University.