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"Two Photographs" by Ann Quinn

1. Connecticut hospital

June, 2020

This piece is about space and speed. Within the almost unbearable confinement of the corridors, we have a sense of motion in the figures of the nurses, their hips splayed out, creating a curve that offsets the straight lines of the bed rails, the wall railings and baseboards. While the two female nurses appear in motion, the three men seem in prayer, eyes cast down. Only the central figure, the man in the bed, is permitted color—the rose sheets and the indigo gown tenderly tucked around him. An oxygen tank attached to the foot of the bed is the only vertical gesture in this picture of tranquility and motion.

2. Crematorium, Mexico City

June, 2020

Vertical orange pipes intersect with

a horizontal titian desk in an altar

composition both emphatic and dynamic.

The axis of a neon helmet hanging

from a valve directs the viewer to the fluorescent heart

of the largest of four Christ figures.

All seven crucifixes angle towards

the Blessed Virgin, placed tenderly mid-altar.

The bagged body on a cart to the right

of the composition leads the eye

to one of the central figures in this piece:

an empty chair adorned with a peeling

coca cola sticker, its red

echoing the color of Christ’s gown.

Ann Quinn’s chapbook Final Deployment, was published by Finishing Line Press (2018), and her compilation of teaching ideas and resulting poems, Poetry is Life, is available from Yellow Arrow Publishing. Her poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, and Broadkill Review. Ann holds an MFA from Pacific Lutheran University, is poetry editor for Yellow Arrow Journal, and lives in Catonsville, Maryland. Visit

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