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You can take a wrong step in the matter of death.  You can step away, then back.  You can step away and then, you are away.  You can step back, and though often, you are visiting.  You are still away in her mind.  Gone away.  And, of course, in the midst of all that stepping,  away was where you were just at the moment, in the hours, in the shroud of time when she was stepping away.  And you could not get back.  The hospital stopped taking calls, preferring a present family member to be the liaison. So quick was her voice receding into its own thoughts, I had one chance to speak of love, into a phone in the middle of the outdoor night, walking alongside the terror of losing her. At the end someone said, “I think she understood some of what you were saying."

In the weeks and months following, I would walk towards the river, down an alleyway more than road, between two decrepit halves of a former brewery.  Parked cars entered a state of filthy somnolence there.  On the western side of the road was a long hoarding board, next to the steel mesh gate and lock.  It was a magnet for spray painters and people who needed a surface for marking. I would stare at this hoarding, swaying slowly as I tried to read its braille.  The oddest thing was that periodically a maintenance person would repaint the entire board in black.  A clean black slate for strangers to deface over and over.  

These are a selection of images from the many coded poems I photographed on that hoarding board, as I searched for the transfiguration Ritter was so certain of. I thank the fine art leader, Rfotofolio, immensely for their choice of Merit for this work.

Robynne Limoges, 2020.

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