44 Anne Caston Three Poems
The Cloak of Invisibility My brother loved the idea, something that would let him pass unseen, unscathed, through the polished hallways of our pristine home, would let him go unpunished for some small sin he’d committed that day, the sin of greed, perhaps, or need, some hunger that had driven him to the pantry again before a proper dinner could be served, that need for something sweet – cookies or a finger dipped into homemade blackberry jam – anything that wasn’t – like prayer or Jesus or vegetables – “good” for him. He said he’d curl himself inside that cloak and he’d not come out, ever, but I could find him any time I wanted because he would sing to me when I walked by. For years, he grew more and more invisible. And then, one day, he wholly disappeared.
What The Daisies Say for Ian She loves you, loves you not – but what do daisies know of love with their white faces turned to the sun and their bright yellow hearts? What can they possibly know of marriage, each struggling with barely-managed lives: you, always a crest-fallen lake of stars, and me, twisted by silence and the scorpion under my tongue. The curse of love is ever with us, darling: you on the verge of leaving your life, certain of failure, and me wearing my blistered heart on my sleeve. What will be otherwise with us, ever? Each day the yellow sun repeats itself. Each night a pale moon waxes or wanes, draining slowly away to darkness and stars. Go on – from the deck you are certain is stacked against us – pick a card. Any card. Draw every time for the shortest straw. Interrogate the daisies if you must. No matter. Even without the flower I could tell you: She loves you. She loves you.
* How many years now since I heard my brother sing? How long since I, walking by the mirrored bakery storefronts in some strange town or other, thought I vaguely heard a boy’s voice singing sweetly from a shadowed alleyway nearby and turned to find, again, the curious nothing there before me? Misty Bloom
A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim