Gracie was shot down somewhere in the South Pacific
by a stranger in a room of faces equally
occidental, all but his.
She recognized him from the Magritte likeness,
loved him—green apple sporting a bowler,
with his jaunty self-preciseness, his talent for theatrics.
Of course it had to do with clichés,
primal themes, and pheromones, and somewhere off the edge,
leather diamonds gliding.
Impossible not to notice the arrow, turquoise;
feathers in bright mulberry.
Love is a curiosity all its own,
Gracie thought, but this was even "curiouser,”
the arrow suctioned to her heart.
For all the force that she exerted contrary,
it hung more forcefully in place,
whipping the firestorm in her heart.
Quirk or quark, she found herself
positioned as target, a pop-up,
trapped in the tunnel of an improbable instant
in which literal and symbol arose and collided.
Cupidity (Stupidity). Useless appendage.
The arrow hung, suspended, determined as epoxy--
frequently an annoyance, a conversation starter,
a mild pain.
She allowed the arrow in her life,
(with a literary resignation)
suspended any thought but for the arrow;
oddly remembered a history lesson, the pioneer wagon hung
with ropes precariously over a cliff,
casket suspended in a grave of air,
waiting for clear passage along a narrow mountain path.
Gracie's foot was cold as if she had stepped
onto a rink of ice without a skate.
She could see her heart still beating.
Far away, she heard the doctor say
that he …
A rush of frigid air;
up above the frayed ropes creaked and groaned.
Ann Power is a retired faculty member from The University of Alabama where she worked as coordinator for the Bibliographic Instruction Program, University Libraries. She enjoys writing historical sketches as well as poems based in the kingdoms of magical realism. Her work has appeared in: The Pacific Review (CSU, San Bernardino), The Puckerbrush Review, Limestone, Spillway, The Birmingham Poetry Review, The American Poetry Journal, Dappled Things, Caveat Lector, and elsewhere.
The Ekphrastic Review
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