Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

s i m o n   p e r c h i k   ~   e a s t   h a m p t o n ,   n e w   y o r k


They work these clams the way a hypnotist
will snap two fingers, take a bow
though you won't remember lifting moons
waving them, letting them dry -- tides

know how to lull a moon till its light
lets go, cools -- you learn to forget
in front an audience half sand
half rake, half your arms tied together

-- twice each day every day this water
sifts the shallows for a place to dry
and you throw back your blue eyes
as if all moons begin as a flower

kept underwater to press against your body
-- a fluttering that passes through the Earth
through your heart and loneliness

and slowly, slowly, even asleep
you forget in front your hands
suddenly smooth, shining on the water.



You limp the way a caterpillar
is already forgetting how to crawl
scrapes its wings for the controls
growing wider in sunlight

to get a better grip
and over you the sky again, so close
though one leg weighs too much

-- you almost make liftoff, the cane
aluminum, almost rain and marble
and the fuselage dragging on the ice
as if it would remember why stillness

heals and your plaster cast
dreading the thaw, the slow turn
pressed lifeless and against your thighs
the softening wingtips, the rain and bone.



As if this rock still had musk
could even now bring down
some boundary line -- with both shoulders

Casey rubs against the moat
the great hall -- once inside
yells for blankets, more string, the kid

rigs the hillside closer, a sky
side by side with kitchen chairs
grazing on the huge tapestries

still scented with the way snow
will cling to this castle door
he lets me open, let in his steaming horses

bridles, robes open at the magnificent throat
spreading my arms -- let in
the stones for drinking water.

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Rev'd 2003/04/06