Lisa Lewis Come-Back Spell

I've never said this to a friend before: it's best you go.
It's best you stay away. I imagine you stepping
Over the threshold of a birdhouse. You're down to size,
You fit, you squeak by. Inside's a basket woven
Of twigs for you to cast out, you'll knit your own bed.
That's one way to get rid of you. Another is a dream
In which I'm playing bingo. My card's nearly empty,
I'm straining to hear the caller, and you stroll in,
That jet lag look on your face you wore
Before the future's promise rose like a glass wall
And you scaled it in iron shoes. You say
I must've taken a wrong turn
and I say Now I can
Start winning,
scrambling to my feet so hard
My chair's cloven hooves scruff a trough in the linoleum.
If I'm going to dream you out of place, I'll paint
Myself a plane to treat you to a business jaunt:
You'll tumble from the slotted belly onto fields
Plowed in cursive, a legible signature. I'll dream you
Checking your confident agenda, trajectory
Of opportunities. You'd have to be stretched
And snapped straight to fit the round door
Of the birdhouse, like thread a wren snatches
From the shoulders of your coat the last chilly morning
Of spring. You'd better hurry, I heard voices
Down the street. I'll unlatch the window and you'll slip
On the sill, claws flaking the frame, or maybe you'll leap
Knees tucked like a stag: my task will be to talk about it
Where you can't hear. I'll shovel holes in the ground
To fill with all the dirty words you mispronounce.
You know how I am: every syllable stitches me
Into your heart, needle notching the valve, so you can't
Breathe into your own balloon: you don't even want to.


Back to 42.2