Lines West: ‘The Almost’
Standing in front of a black painting
you almost say what you mean, almost
reach out to touch, almost set off the alarm
and the large German guard almost yells
at you, her face almost the color of a low winter
sun through branches. But you don’t. You can
see what it is that is meant to make sense.
This is almost order, almost history, but
you can’t quite make of it the sense it wants
and it feels like black failure, like liquorice hard
in the pit of your belly. To see the lines bisecting
the black. To have a feeling of black that is
lit from the side, but to only almost say what
it tastes like, to say instead: disappointment.
— Jennifer Hancock