Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

m a r y   e l i z a b e t h   p a r k e r

Lighting matches to keep warm,
the matchgirl caught fire.
Now her bones glow like streetlamps.

Their gleam will flesh out in your memory:
her streetcorner frescoed in light,
her face in broken water in the street.

Stripped clean in the light, her love
is a shoplifter's coat, revealing
a bowl of milk, a gilt spoon.

In the ark of her bones, matches
flicker with an uneasy heat.
Don't look down from her face

or scrape in your pocket for change --
when this moment is gone she'll have to take back
her flesh.

From The Sex Girl, 1999 ~ publisher Urthona Press, Asheville, NC

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Rev'd 2003/04/06