Art Histories


Take the figures of Pompeii:
each death left a void
buried in pumice and ash
beneath the shadows
of Vesuvius. Archaeologists
filled them with plaster,
extracted a ghostly exodus.

Take Segal. His models held
pose until plaster casts hardened,
then they wriggled free. Each
left the husk of a moment

standing like a woman in a blue
doorway, or coupling in embrace
at the bottom of an endless
staircase. Figures huddled in lines
as if waiting for a train,
forever waiting to depart.


Why does the hand
follow the eye? Why
does it build, sculpt,
cut color with a knife,
chisel a likeness, give
form to an entire room
on a single plane?

Open suitcase, rendered
with the texture of flesh.
The lonely figure of a sheer
dress floating on a hanger.
Woman, nude, painted
into a chair—I call it


Sarah Nix received a BFA in 2006 from Herron School of Art and Design. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in CALYX Journal, Rust + Moth, and Sugared Water. Her blog is