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Winter 2018/19

Susan Terris  


Only resist. The two of us are fighting against something you call the New World Order. Before us are roiling figures with sandpaper voices urgent and angry. We have shrugged off our clothes but no one points. Maybe that crowd exists only as shadows on a scrim. Reverse the lighting and the Old World may reappear: apple tree, palms, fig leaves and you with the only snake. Now let the play begin. . . .

Late afternoon and we are walking along a boardwalk when we see, an open-beaked peacock--his tail fanned out--riding a skate board toward us. Amazed, we step aside to let him pass. "Head or tail?" I ask. You reply, "Both, of course. Always both."

Late afternoon and the sun has turned the windows facing the lake to a blazing mirror. A hummingbird keeps flying into his own reflection, hitting glass over and over, until he lies stunned upon the grass. "Some days," you tell me, "I feel like that bird."

The room is gray and filled with milling men in gray suits and rep ties. There is smoke, and the men's voices sound like angry birdsong. My clothing is black, and my back is against a post. If I wore a watch I'd be looking at it now. Instead I wait until, at last, I see you, Bruce Wayne, dressed in black, striding toward me parting the gray crowd as if they are a copse of dead trees bending back and forth in wind-smoke.


SUSAN TERRIS’ recent books are Take Two: Film Studies; Memos; and Ghost of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems. Her next book Familiar Tense is anticipated for publication by Marsh Hawk Press in spring 2019.



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