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A Crisis Visual

By Sophia Kostanski

Fire paints Pollock lines

’til traces of little life run out.

Red does not hold back instead

it takes

             after cranberry juice,

gushes from a fallen glass, it        drips,

bloody nose, invades frames,

crossing limits, they say. It’s gone

too far down the Artist’s plane, they say

still in stance. Citrus

lights sizzle plum

shaped fur bellies dry

& other slices of pain 

beyond the bubble

transparent window.  

Said goodbye

to forms who belonged

to us to protect.

             You whisper redo,

redo, re: do


I paint, Van Gogh-like,

until red is cast off.

             Room for new

sketches will stay.


             the hours to draw

this fragile life.

Sophia Kostanski is a fourth year student at the University of Toronto, specializing in English. Her poem “A Crisis Visual” begins with a fire engulfing “fur bellies”, breaking boundaries to claim lives. As global citizens, we have witnessed fires rage and devastate ecosystems and communities in Brazil, Los Angeles, and Australia. The poem works through a human attempt to take action and to repair what seems to be irreparable.  

Photo credit: USGS on Unsplash

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