Wednesday, July 25, 2018

For my poet (from Wite-Out; originally published in Hanging Loose magazine)

My Mystic

My mystic isn't old enough to be my mother.
She yells “No!” when she laughs at my jokes.
She can’t keep anything down and doesn’t drink, except for whiskey, wine, and water.
My mystic is her father’s daughter.
My mystic has her own monk, a hermit who had his own monk.
Out on a boat on the Atlantic with a friend, tossed around, my mystic screams with laughter when they don’t drown.
My mystic has an early edition of Proust in a closet with her sheets and towels. Any house sitter could steal it, but no one does.
My mystic picks at her croissant in the dark, Swann’s Way in her lap.
My mystic wants to know all about my men, so I tell her. She groans, and then we talk about the new Pope. She thinks he has a humble face.
From her apartment we can see an orange neon sign across the Cambridge green. At dusk it tints the dirty snow. My mystic used to run in and out of that hotel lobby with her best friend, stealing candy.
Now children crawl all over my mystic. In the pockets of her vest (the color of their red toboggan) they find hard candy.
My mystic is a sister. Is lilacs. Is toast.
My mystic has already bought her plot.
My mystic is both the crone and the infant in the fairy tale.
My mystic is a fairy. She flies everywhere but leaves no carbon footprint.
My mystic has a device. Children text my mystic from L. A., Dubai, Oxford, Paris.
My mystic might have been named Affliction or Delight if born at sea in 1620.
Or, two centuries later, out of Cobh and mad in steerage: perhaps Theresa.
My mystic has lips the color of a rose named for the Cathars, who had but one sacrament: consolation.