Arsenic Lobster poetry journal
Issue Twenty-seven
Winter 2011
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Captopromancy
             divination by mirrors
Maureen Alsop

Unarmed, the woods possessed you. Then against the songbird’s throat
I pressed the lightest thorn. No path unearthed, except where
invisible wings soothed belittled air. Then you came in closer,
swarmed my sleep, trod the blue roots of unblessed crocus. Husks of snow
hid forgotten ships all over the hillside. Mainsails unfurled and love
anchored new blossoms.Then the flimsy threads of my coat
were your forest. I was not born out of earth’s furrows
as that skinny schoolgirl. No, but of a beautified migration; ancestors
long procession found here in the basement of my lilac heart. Then,
near as a man I was smiling. I, the little lady of sublimations, a reindeer’s tin eyes
at dusk among almond buds. Then balancing my coffee cup on the table’s oval glass,
the sea’s spark trapped my swig. Then you would have seen me step
into the kitchen to light a cigarette, or dampen the heat with a sip of ice. A little
orchard of deaths planted in exchange for want. Then between your hands
I could not undo desire. Oil slicks in the dark. Then circling
the others inside us. Reflections, I make you look by turning.

About Maureen Alsop

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