Melissa Ahart The 2River View, 6.4 (Summer 2002)

Miracle worker of the jigsaw puzzle,
under his nimble fingers, schools
of variegated tropical fish divided and coalesced,

three thousand scarlet tulips bloomed
to inflame the undersides of windmill blades,
fleets of sailboats, schooners, the Titanic

itself rose from its soggy depths complete
with miniature light bulbs to illuminate
her affluent upper decks. Daunted only

by unbroken stretches of sky, he assembled
worlds with divine haste, only to crumble
them back into the box when barely finished.

Soon though, sections would be lost from one scene
and resurface in a distant relative—
tulips on the Titanic, ineffable fish in a windmill.

Worn out from sitting, he would take naps
with notched pieces still crushed into
his papery elbows, cohering on his skin

into scabrous meadows of pressed cardboard,
the underbelly of creation.

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