n. magic predicated on the belief that one thing or
event can effect another at a distance as a consequence
of a sympathetic connection between them.
Take a milk bath the night before. Sleep on white silk
and contemplate purity. Visualize light, its smooth
merging with your own uncomplicated body.
Inside the hospital, observe the cool corridors,
the too-clean rooms moleculed with ammonia.
Laugh with the trio of nurses who huddle to greet you.
When they circle your wrist with your name,
grin at the ceremony, reassure yourself that circles
mean wholeness, no parts missing. Accept the good sign.
In the prep room, know that the needle inserted in your vein
is a minuscule angel delivering her missile of peace,
and well before you nod off, she'll help you point
in a roomful of men, to your left breast.
It sounds like a dirty joke, a friend's husband told her,
upon hearing that her cyst contained two molars,
an army of fingernails, some snarled dark hair. If not magic,
then how else to explain the eccentricities of the body?
It's a good omen that the last thing you remember
is the doctor's jacket moving toward you, slowly
widening into vacuous space, so much pure white,
a vague awareness of the anesthesiologist
casting his spell behind you. The room itself
turned down, a soft simmering of voices.
You will only awaken afterwards, restored
to that initial room in bandages, the loaned-out book
that returns with coffee stains and missing pages.
It's not, as some will say, the abracadabra
of the mind gone wrong. Murmurs of coincidence
have a way of fading, blending with the trees
when you're staring out a hospital window at night,
mended and wrapped and propped on starched sheets.
You can see how everything bridges together,
and you drink your milk for good measure,
conjuring new stars from the burnt-out sky.
Date of Birth:
August 31, 1969
42opus, flashquake, Slow Trains, The Paumanok Review, The Pedestal, Eclectica, The Rose and Thorn, Stirring, etc.
Three-time Pushcart Prize nominee
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