Before and After

The Scream, by Edward Munch. 1893

One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream. —Edvard Munch (1892)


The past before us
Is the past we all share now

Twice past
Twice blessed

Roaming through the ages
When we jammed into rooms
Bars houses apartments

Together breathing the same air
Breathing the same context in time

An earlier landscape internalized
For physical connections we took for granted
For fun for chances to spar and joust
In person together

Together but apart in our mind’s eye
Because we could be that way
That aloof that cool
But still there

Meant pre-separation

Meant we panicked about different things

To say the least because we could
Say the least and get away with it

The air we breathe
The air we pass on to others

Is existential now
     We are each other’s crisis

Before and After
Scroll to top