Mask Photo
by Jennifer Finstrom

            The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
                                    –Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

On March 7, you have no idea
what’s coming. It’s a Saturday and
your plans are to meet one man at
the Art Institute to see El Greco:
Ambition and Defiance on the first
weekend that it opens and then to
meet another for dinner at Miller’s
Pub. But you’re behind on grading
and you only go to the dinner part,
spend the afternoon in bed on your
laptop. This decision has nothing
to do with the men, but neither of
them seem to have liked your original
plans. You try to remember how you
explained it, know how good you are
at hitting a truth that doesn’t reveal
all but is nonetheless true. You won’t
see the exhibit now for months, if
ever, tie long scarves over your face
when you go out to walk alone, your
voice muffled by velvet, anything you
might say even more masked. And
here in poems you know you’re still
curating, only selecting what pieces
of the story you choose and no more.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Just this past summer I began a collection of ekphrastic poems about dating in my 50s. The direction the poems are taking is shifting in recent days amid the climate of uncertainty, but I’m still keeping on with the project.

Jen Finstrom pic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Finstrom is both part-time faculty and staff at DePaul University. She was the poetry editor of Eclectica Magazine for 13 years, and recent publications include Dime Show ReviewEunoia ReviewStirring, and Thimble Literary Magazine, with work forthcoming in Gingerbread House Literary Magazine and  Rust + Moth. Her work also appears in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks and several other Silver Birch Press anthologies.