It would be too simple
to describe its motives
as a flame off course,
a light mistaken for sun.
Loveliness is complicated,
a white body against darkness,
the night’s counterfeit
just beyond a screen,
as yet untorn. Pale wing,
sees what it wants to see,
half-witted and happy
for a few wild moments,
reeling beneath the cold eyes
of relentless stars.
My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves
She returns for her things,
bright strips of clothing
billowed down like prayer flags
over boxes. I almost miss the small
object in her hand. She hurls it,
arms stiff as oars, spins in a circle,
twists free and leaves.
I will never know what she held
and threw away. But as children,
we cured warts with a raw potato
thrown blind over our shoulders.
Practicing gypsy cures and spells,
we charmed each mortal wound.
The trick, we knew, was in not looking back.
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