Mudlark Flash No. 32 (2005)

Dore Kiesselbach

Balance | Cellophane

Dore Kiesselbach has placed or has work forthcoming in Boulevard, Carolina Quarterly, Poetry East, Cimarron Review, Field and like magazines. Past honors include a U.S. Dept. of Education Javits Fellowship in poetry and an NEH Younger Scholar Award.


The red lion ate the green lion
causing quite a stir and considerable
expense to the impresario
who’d billed the presentation
of the unusually colored cats
as a spectacle of comity
despite difference. He took
one of the unconsumed
paws of the green lion,
spots of green still showing
through the matted blood,
and touched it to places
he remembered having
stood while thinking
that only a wonderful world 
would allow a man
of his humble origins
to possess both
a red lion and a green lion.


Perhaps it was the lucky man
grinning into his beer or the old friend
suddenly asking for sex or the homeless man
making sculptures from the contents of a shopping cart,
maybe cheating on law school exams or the sparrow with a tip
of gold, cigarette pack cellophanestring
peeking from his beak, so sick he let you pick him up and pull it
all the way out. He’d thought it was the world’s best worm.
It was coiled deep inside.
There was something in the way she looked up at you
that morning-going-on-afternoon
but it wasn’t the one who watched you with her hands
exquisitely full of what you still think of
or the place with the strong wire or passengers on a flaming jet
reaching for overhead bins
no matter how elaborated or described,
connected to things like but beyond
themselves, though you thought otherwise once
and for too long a time.

Copyright © Mudlark 2005
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