wicked alice| fall 2009

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Gillian Cummings


Spirits of the Humid Cloud


Itís hot in the land of the mighty,

spearmints scent the summer, pierce

the air, the air thronged with ghost-girls,

cloud-covered, milky in the dawn, soft

as pussywillow nubs rubbed by rough thumbs,

the girls are filmy as tulle, their dresses

crinkle from the weight pressed moist

against them, fingers pass through their tresses

too fine to know knots, hair which would be

wild on the wind like kites if something stirred,

but the girls are caught in cobweb cages,

canít move, canít cry, their voices muffle

like mushrooms, their voices bubble up

only if it rains, a cool rain, a rational,

and we know nothing if we donít know

these girls are grey-souled, theyíre crazy,

jazzed like mockingbirds, shrieking at touch,

the feel of our bodies passing through their

self-shifts pains them, pains their boundarilessness,

their bottomless death-in-death wish, their need

to be otherworldlier than God hast made.





Gillian Cummings