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From ‘Epic’Ange Mlinko
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Vol. 38 No. 24 · 15 December 2016
Poem

From ‘Epic’

Ange Mlinko

302 words

‘Dear Tenant,

Right before my husband left, he did me a good deed.
He hung a heavy mirror I had bought at an estate sale,
bevelled, gilt, uncommonly clear. It was as though I’d freed
him to do what he neglects to do when chores entail
… what? Fairness? This was a gift. It hangs above eye level,
more to catch the light of the ceiling lamp than to reflect
the faces of his family back to them without him. The bubble
that equalises, underwater, is a related concept:
It floats above us, waits to pop and flood us with relief.
An eye refusing to meet mine … When visiting the Freedom Tower,
window glass bristling from the bottom floors, wasn’t a brief
glimpse of yourself promised amid the crowed, while the power
to withhold your reflection resided completely with …’

(here the letter breaks off; Psyche sees it begs
for closure of some sort, and adds:) ‘No matter what, we plummet.
The Tower, however, is insured, the way dancers insure their legs.
I paid homage to the notion of Freedom by walking away from it.’

*

BLUE MOON       Dinner is dolmades from
the mini-mart. It seems the building sighed
out the men pounding on the mirror’s other side.
They stand dazed, and look away – as if to come
at this hour with takeout signifies
a girl with a meaningless profession,
which doesn’t pay to the extent it gentrifies.
She glances at the scaffold like a trellis,
and hears a call to prayer in wrought iron:
‘This is the real estate of the zealous.’

El Cielo The stained glass skylight glows.
A letter awaits Psyche. Dearest, j’arrive!
And for a moment history is a vine
like a motif of grape that comes alive –

A thrill of drills and hammers coming close.

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