Self-Portrait 2012 by Jordan Casteel

Ellen June Wright

The I.V. pulls me in, reminds me how illness stopped me in my tracks & made me detour, circumvented my plans & the anger I felt when I realized I was not God, not even a demigod. I was never in control. Providence would have its way. The ancients knew that. They had so many embodiments of life interrupted: the Fates, the Furies, the anger of Hera, even the whims of Zeus. Heavy bags rest under Jordan’s eyes; her gaze seems troubled as she looks at me or her reflection. Her face, no more than thirty. A weight's upon her. I want to tell Jordan trouble don't last always. You can pass through it like a tunnel or a minefield & come out the other side sane or healed enough to do what you want—for a time. In a chilled room, Jordan Casteel sits in the avocado-colored chair with a comforter from home upon her lap—I.V. in her arm, a cauterized memory for me now.