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.