Nils Michals :: This is the house made of glass

This is the house made of glass. This is the house made wholly clear, nearly unseen in the last third of a field of absolute white. To stand at a distance on a cloudless winter morning one might as well be inside a diamond, the house a slight incongruity in an otherwise flawlessness. This is when it would please the house to show you inside, though it’s just more glass: figurines of horses and pistols and Napoleon, translucent furs, a clear locket with a lock of clear hair. Have you seen celebrities on talk shows? This house is like that, more so at evening when from within arrive tiny palettes of color—cool mint, cherry passion, night smoke—in the form of a warm light. Have you ever had enter your life a certain person you hardly know but to whom you wish to irrationally gift meaningful items? I lost as follows: a worn book, a master key, cashmere, golden ratios in various forms, rent, patience for others discovering their sexuality. Oil painting 101 says the self least likely to know itself to the right and up a bit. Such is glass, like wind, so that when the two meet there is a momentary bewilderment, and then a great desire to be elsewhere. Of course, the painter knows there must always be some dark shape approaching, out of season and proportion, a gawky halter-topped teen or wounded giraffe, tracing an awkwardness as far in the snow as the eye can carry, flush to frame’s edge. Remember the luminous celebrity so mesmerizing in her artlessness? She’s not letting you in. Neither is the house. That color you imagined would warm you? Gone, in the way experiments in the history of glass fracture just present more questions. You say you’ve had it up to here with suddenness. The glass is whole and perfect and then it is not. Not that it matters when there’s no in to get in.

This work also appears in print.