How the World Was Made

All Hallows

A black plastic strip hangs on wire, wind-ragged. Beyond the wire, pumpkins. Beyond that, cars and trucks on a straight road.

Dust rises off a field. The column twists. Funnel-spirits of the dry plowed earth: Ancestors, still twisting with pain, searching for the reflection of the water-skate's body in black water; for the bluish-green phosphor lamp of marsh light; for the salamander dangling, suspended, between surface and mud floor in a cold pool.

When a door opens between worlds, the skin on the back of the neck becomes thin, lets in the wind. When lines become liquid, the hand inside the pumpkin knocks back. When rain becomes a burning bush, the mouth that was taught "yes" and "no" dissolves.

But there's no rain here.

The black plastic strip twists this way, that. A struggling Houdini.

When I was a child, I was smoke, could slip through keyholes.

number 20 in the 2River Chapbook Series