The young author of “Harlem is Nowhere,” (http://sharifarhodespitts.com/harlem-is-nowhere/) in repose. In New Orleans. At home in the world, which is “nowhere,” that is, an ever present state, her home being herself, sometimes dressed in blue, her hair plaited in a way that suits rather than frames the image that is her face, with sculptural properties Brancusci could not shape ore re-shape via his imagination since his African-ness came from Europe and Sharifa’s Africanness was shaped in America, which is flat and big, or round and small, in any case Texas is her home but at present she’s in New Orleans and tomorrow it could be some place else, since her blue dress will make an appearance, always, in the space called somewhere else. She may not live with you since she lives in the world. Her blue dress, the green leaves of her salad. I can smell both (smell is the way I take people in, or expel them; I can’t love you anymore if I can’t bear the way you eat or smell) just now in New York, days after sitting with her in a cafe in New Orleans, where she told me something about herself and told me the brownie I picked up for desert would get smashed flat in her bag if she didn’t eat it right now. I know her, and don’t know her, and want more of both experiences: knowing and not knowing her. In thinking about her, I had to read about her, and there is some of her in Gaston Bachelard’s beautiful “The Poetics of Space,” when he writes: “The house furnishes us dispersed images and a body of images at the same time….Our house is our corner of the world. As has often been said, it is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word. If we look at it intimately, the humblest dwelling has beauty.” That is Sharifa’s work: looking at things intimately, humble or no. But there’s a second level of work– her body, her corner of the world, a structure–her body, her self–that young women rarely claim as freely as Sharifa has. So doing, she has created a body of images in my mind that includes her making her way through green leaves on her plate, or in her neighborhood in New Orleans, wearing her blue dress, lit up with herself.