the anthropologist, 1983 by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

the anthropologist existed in the blue corner apartment of that old white house from the 1700’s before fences before more than trampled blackberry paths arrived to Baltimore.
the anthropologist stood in stiff vertical stance, watched, watching her peers snap tabs of cheap beer, seance dogs from the wicks of candles, dig weeds from the garden for makeshift salads.
the anthropologist ushered a man into her chamber each evening, after the sun had eaten the skyline, ushered into her douched V a man who may, or may not, have adored her.
the anthropologist came to the girl once, leaned on haunches over her manual typewriter; came to her, chiding, chided, “man is a social animal, you know…”. & clamped shut the panels, her bread hid from worldview.
how does doubt begin to fill us, infuse us? each of us, constructions of stories, miraculous. each of us, deniers or abolitionists. beauty. “art is a form of communication” said the anthropologist, later, i ran into her. the ball field, the World Series, catcalls of fortune & doubt. communication, i thought, & i took to the paintings, hungry for words spewed forth, the disintegration of Picasso’s women, as he destroyed them, as we destroy, each other, love.

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