Sui Generis

Christmas, 2000 / No. 4

At twenty-two

Charlotte discovers her legacy to suicide—

six on her mother’s side of the tree, including

the artist’s mother, had taken

their own lives.

Chances are, she calculates, whatever

had struck her next of kin

would strike Charlotte too—

unless she could work the curse

of Selbtsmord

into a new motif.

The C. S. who summons

salvation from paint, breaks

from her nature to save it.

Elana Wolff is a writer, editor, translator, and designer and facilitator of social art courses. Her fifth solo collection of poems, Everything Reminds You of Something Else, was published this spring. She has contributed to the magazine since 2000. Last updated winter, 2017–2018.