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to you, the sea

Mia Yen

Il fiore by Samantha Criscuolo

to you, the sea.

by Mia Yen


You are the assemblage of a ship,

a thunderstorm, and a scream.

You are burnt orange tempura—

an amalgamation of colors that just happened to turn out a shade

clear enough to pass as the color between red and yellow.

You are frantic and wavered strokes,

peeling from the cardboard—

the colors screaming with you.

You are the blood sky in Turner’s Slave Ship and

you are the storm in Cole’s The Oxbow.

The sea is painted with impasto—

pastel and baby blues and whites.

The sea is wrapped in layers upon layers of oil paint—

and underneath is even more paint,

like soak-stain, like Frankenthaler’s The Bay.  

It’s only the blue and the blue and the blue.

The sea is cold the same way Braque’s The Portuguese is,

disjointed, like it shouldn’t be whole but it is.

It feels like too many faces, too abstract

to be placed in something as simple as a box.

If Oppenheim’s Object had a face, this would be it.

It watches you, watches over you—

like the “You” in Bruegel the Elder’s Hunters in the Snow.

You look at this world of blue—

the weight of the colors is crushing.  

They strangely belong, unlike you—

the bright yellow skin of Kirchner’s Self Portrait of a Soldier. A severed hand.

You think it’s sickly.

You don’t want to be Schwabe’s The Death of the Gravedigger.

You think it’s unusual.

You don’t want to be Redon’s The Crying Spider

But although you are not the dream in Monet’s The Saint-Lazare Station,

Although you are not the cold in Mondrian’s Gray Tree,

You are the red that burns and burns until it is completely burnt—

You are not red just for the sake of it.

You are the upper half of Munch’s Anxiety.

You are the yellow of overwhelming love in Klimt’s The Kiss,

You are the golden fruits in Ruysch’s Fruits and Insects.

You are heart and you are gold and you are the reminder of vanitas.

"You are the scream and the call of a human. // You are the purposeful combination of colors"

You are the purposeful combination of colors

You are the assemblage of a ship and

the thunderstorm that weathers it.

You are the scream and the call of a human.

You are the purposeful combination of colors

that became this shade of burnt orange tempura.

You are the amalgamation of life.  


About the Writer...

Mia Yen, from California, is a junior at Orange County School of the Arts in the Creative Writing conservatory. She has a love-hate relationship with writing dialogue and enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories. She is currently interested in scriptwriting, as well.

About the Artist...

Sam Criscuolo is a student at Douglas Anderson. The medium of their piece is photography.

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