A Child Again, by Margo Davis
A Child Again
viewing the Dutch film The Vanishing
I lean forward to meet the flame at centre frame engulfed
in darkness. My eyes adjust.
A red silken backdrop falls forward. The heroine’s elbows fan out
against the casket that hems her in.
My feet press the floor. Her trembling makes the spark waver
then go out.
Will she catch a whiff of chloroform beneath her quivering upper lip?
Again she flicks
her lighter, its flame held close enough to scorch the fabric
of fear. Her low groan
makes me shudder. The camera cuts to the fresh-turned ground
she lies beneath.
From moving upright to buried alive. I can’t breathe! My own elbows
measure left, right.
I’m twelve again, reading burial tales under thick covers
by flickering flashlight.
Her tremble risks setting silk on fire. Be still. Don’t waste oxygen.
Margo’s poems have appeared in Light: A Journal of Photography & Poetry, Wisconsin Review, Midwest Quarterly, Slipstream, Agave Magazine, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Forthcoming poems are to appear in Misfit Magazine, Civilized Beasts, Vine Leaves Literary, Burgers and Barrooms Anthology, and Echoes Off a Canyon Wall, an ekphrastic photo / poetry exhibit.
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