The Helen Box | Rachel Finkelstein
Rachel Finkelstein lives in Chapel Hill North Carolina where she teaches high school English. Her work has appeared in The Boston Review, Small Po[r]tions, Lemon Hound, deLuge Journal, Columbia Poetry Review, Shampoo, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana.
from THE HELEN BOX
When one admires Helen’s beauty, they’re admiring Graham’s number, which is to say, an exactness that we ourselves can’t understand. Anonymous was inspired by the possibility of symmetry in Graham’s infinite universe. As a subject, Helen naturally occupied a leading place.
Anonymous’ desire to create such perfection had gone beyond obsession. Although many men had cherished it, Anonymous felt he had made Helen’s nose too large. Thus, Helen’s nose was turned out and donated as scrap. An image progression timeline shows that Helen’s nose has consistently retained its generosity, yet the geometrics of its curve have steadily been refined through recalculation. An even closer look will show an added faintness to its arch, as to indicate bone.
Anonymous continuously doubted his work. He especially doubted the proportions of Helen’s face, which he dubbed as her problem area. Augmentations to Helen’s face were made more so than any other part of her body. Under the naked eye Helen’s face may appear to be blank. Yet without this veiling she can have no signature.