The Topic At Hand: This Is A Test

Quiet, girl, don’t startle him.  If I trip
and he turns, if I cough he’ll look.
Look at my man, tower of spine, legs
fresh stalks and hair curling from wet heat
down here.  All the dead dream
of home but just a glimpse of heel
made me forget I woke up
in a steaming pit.  My love,
imagine a door ahead wants
to be opened.  Chase that copperhead
creasing the gravel before you. Behind you
is a demon, a tiger, a mirror.  Follow
the scent of coals on cut grass.  Hum
a dirge to the dirt as I track your back.
Look for the portal covered in vines.  Oh gods!
That face—it’s all right, it’s all right;
once you’re here it’s not that hard to stay.
I could feel myself changing anyway.  Get off
the ground.  You have olive trees to tend.
The vines are cinching closed
and the dogs have come round.

***

Preview image by Pink Sherbet Photography

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    • What I love the most is that the main action of the story is implied, rather than described. Myths that resonate like Orpheus and Eurydice will never go out of style, but in this era of extravagant special effects, it's the human details that make this story come alive. This is an epic story of magic, adventure, and doomed love, beautifully and concisely rendered as a minimalist monologue that might even be internal. And “the dogs have come round” is such an understated evocation of Cerberus that it dares the reader to imagine just how terrifying the “reality” must be.

    The Author

    Amy Meckler

    amy.meckler
    Amy Meckler received her MFA in creative writing from Hunter College, where she garnered the Academy of American Poets Award, among other honors. Her poems have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. Her first collection, What All the Sleeping Is For, won the 2002 Defined Providence Press Poetry Book Award and was published that year. She works in New York City as a Sign Language interpreter. Amy also blogs at You Have Spinach In Your Teeth. She is also the Poetry Editor for Revolving Floor. See all of Amy's Revolving Floor contributions.

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