Issue 170, Summer 2004
Ginger and I Discover Our Power to Disappear
The Power came in winter, not long after
the Guatemalan broke my heart. Then, invisible,
I’d kick him under the table at dinner,
or scald him, or finish his sangria
while he wasn’t looking. Later, we amused
ourselves with the dog, or in restaurants—hiding.
We soon found that with work we could also
halt time, and then wondered where our limits
lay; already we were telepathic, she and I both
knew that. What was next? Levitation? Tensile
strength? Clairvoyance? And do we disappear
because we are afraid? I would ask her, searching
for my image in shop windows, TV screens,
or peering back at me from the jelly jar.
No, she’d reply, puffing vaguely
on a cigarette, the two of us hugging
our knees in a booth at the town bar.
In the carpal tunnel there’s a crimson door.
On one side is the meadow with its goose trees,
its monologue of fence, its sky, first gray, that turns
fiery and brown, with flecks of gold like soldiers’
eyes, minarets. Bold crescent, a bone, a nape,
the shape a toothache makes. On the other
are one hundred choices—carefully.