The Spilsbury Curse by Martina Reisz Newberry

The engraver and cartographer, John Spilsbury, of London, is believed to have produced the first
jigsaw puzzle around 1760, using a marquetry saw.

I learned the world as I sat, still as a stone

while the sky broke into puzzle pieces and

fell on me. “There it is,” I thought, “just waiting

for me to put it together and shove it

back where it belongs.” Time has sped by with me

unable to match the cobalt borders with

the pale blue centers. I have spent countless minutes–

maybe days–looking down at those pieces

wanting so much to reveal the whole picture.

My wanting remains a to-do. This after

noon, through the ironwork that separates our

terraces, I see my neighbor, Jess. At her

feet are puzzle pieces of clouds, shades of white and

gray and eggshell. She stares down at them. She is

sitting very still, mind you, waiting to see

if they will solve themselves and float back to a sky

no longer there. My fault, I know, I get that.

Martina Reisz Newberry
Martina Reisz Newberry’s books are Never Completely Awake (due out in 2017 from Deerbrook Editions), Where It Goes (Deerbrook Editions), Learning by Rote (Deerbrook Editions), Running Like A Woman with Her Hair on Fire (Red Hen Press), Lima Beans and City Chicken: Memories of the Open Hearth (E.P. Dutton &Co) Her work has been anthologized and widely published in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian Newberry, a media creative.