Issue 157, Winter 2000
The skeleton clicks, endlessly doubling
over in my hands. Damned things that steal soul
and flee. Mine, the son of a virgin father
and a blue-haired elf. No wonder it was hard
for him to be good. No wonder he tried
to flee my life, that gibberish print of a drunk
who wrote to pay debts. Carpenter, impotent
creator, I carved into a giggling branch
of swindler destiny. When my son went,
no whine of new hinged ankles brought him back:
borrow children. They are not ours.
Another spelling book. His burnt feet.
Finding him in the bowels of the old fish
out of which my dear doll led me onto
the star-stung sea. The legs I honed and taught,
they always ran ahead. The sam~ thing that saves
the heart breaks it. Now he's real. Only
the stub of one genuine nose remains.
The begged, the lost, the made: my life scrawled
and sold by that drunk debtor who knew
we're all born unreal. Knew about miracle.