Dana Sonnenschein


     Glass tears, false eyelashes, stigma and style, the lily's association with death. In the nave of the cathedral, bride and groom, choir of stone, one voice rising in notes so pure they are meaningless.

     Of course, the calla lily sexes itself. Of course, it exists in every dimension, inside out, outside in, the female of it erect and the male curved and ready to scatter pollen, a single petal folded, filling with evening and morning, like the Seine, reflections sifting through water. So like a wave, the calla, and yet so still, that it grows difficult to tell opening from closing, one moment from another. Your press your palms together to make a prayer, or you put your fingers to your lips and taste the bitterness of love. The lily's leaves are wings, silk swirling, a woman's skirt as she turns and does not cross the street, rain splashing. Of course, it is for sale, like the other flowers in the market, banked along the embankment, like a blessing, like an illustration torn from an old book and displayed on one of those carts beside the river where the tourists walk, searching for their memories. Look here, in the calla, arches.

     Or here, this print shows a pair of lilies, fanned out, like when you open your hands to show that you have nothing or you do not know. In these, you can see the worn lip of a waterspout, the wrought iron and flying buttresses of Notre Dame, the ripples where a sparrow flies like a message from earth to heaven. Oui, oui, that is enough.


If you repeat an image often enough, you may get lost inside it. You may find yourself possessed by the past. Your own, someone else's, Man Ray's, mine. Read. Repeat.