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 5     SUBMIT

Three Poems


Lin Kelsey

*

Husband gone to the neighbors
To borrow two
Sticks to fend off urchins.
Soon he’s trying out their tractor,
Test-driving slowly away down the street.
In a dim grove on the corner
One, then three
Dark fish flicker,
Swimming in air.
Look! Fish!
The attention works.
A whole school of yellow fish
Joins them,
Hovering overhead.
And the trees!
Trunks finely inlaid and highly polished,
Bark hanging off
Like garments.
Suddenly a red doll’s shoe drops.
Given to the neighbor’s child,
It makes her cry.



*

They have hung
Clusters of butterflies.
Overhead arcs
And circles of feathers twist
Slowly in the air.
This is the place where we come
To be poisoned for our own good.
Each day a strange ritual.
Prone and stripped to the waist
I raise my hands
To grasp the rods.
The machine overhead eyes me closely,
Swinging from side to side.
Two bursts of a certain size will do it.
As yet no outward trace,
Much less stigmata.
Released, I crawl doggedly
Toward some domestic task
Carefully avoiding
The trap door.



*

Wrap me in a napkin
And carry me to the cliffs
Where birds build
Finding a foothold here and there.