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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2015 - Vol. 12, Issue 1

"I have Painted"

written by

Margarita Tenser

I have painted

     round the legs of furniture

it was so heavy, and my hands so tired

          (I forgot.)

     Now there is wet paint between

          me and the door


through which I should have hauled this chest of drawers

               and this coffee table. Press

                                                                                          on! Do not

                                                                           lose focus




     checkers on the internet

or read about Sidney Newman’s foiled attempt

               at a female Doctor Who, and end up

                              with a floor half-done

                                             forever. Doggedly

                              press on, although I know

               that now there will be outlines

                              if I rearrange;

                                             beige ghosts of living past




                              Decide to paint the bald spots later

               maybe do them

in another colour, so it’s artsy

               and stuff. Although

                              I know

               I won’t.








                              I have painted myself

               into a corner.

Margarita Tenser is a Ukrainian-born Aussie who harbours an irrational dislike of chocolate, works in a television-adjacent industry and spends a lot of time procrastinating on writing. Her poetry has been published in Voiceworks, Strange Horizons, and Stone Telling, and her official blog can be found at

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