The redhead down the hall who made a bird-in-air quilt from her drowned infant’s gown has a stack of books under her bed. One says Aztecs called the vulture Obsidian Butterfly. Another that the clowns of Europe painted their faces on eggs and sent them by coach to the clown registry.
Dazed, they rise and go down a staircase scalloped by their passage, the last strong dream of the night closing one petal at a time. The heart spins in a dark solution, waiting to be born. Lined up, staring at the floor, flower heads strung along the curtain rod to dry.
Before glass mirrors were invented in Venice imperial women gazed into disks of polished bronze, which softened the flaws of circumstance and time, distilling the essence of the body’s guest. In sleep she travels back, before headlights careened along the walls at night. Ring the hand and harness bells of old. Strike with soft hammers the clapperless jade bells of grief.
Stephen Knauth | Frederica >> Contents | Mudlark No. 45 (2012)