small textlarge text

Kristin Garth

She Whispers Wizards

She whispers wizards. Blue irises dilate,
childhood compatriot who asks you on
a date, party, but she calculates —
a curiosity relied upon.

A wizard lured a girl from your high school,
post-graduation runaway. Kids could
be cruel with names for girls who flee with ghouls
to magic from suburban neighborhoods.

You never saw one but exchanged details
curated legends since pigtails — language
transforming mortals into beasts with tails.
Two grownup schoolgirls share a pilgrimage.

She whispers wizards, old ardor she stokes,
this smiling girl who always smells of smoke.


When he’s inside you they will glow, fireflies
illuminating freckled skin within,
aflutter, nervous system oxidized
lost, lidless eyes coated, hemoglobin,

careening toward abdomen, a nest
abreast blue veins, viscera. Bless with light
bleak blight, this temporality, your chest
fluorescing, rest of you radiating bright

pink, warm between him, his progeny swarm,
incubating wings — hypodermis clings.
Flesh, incandescent, magic has transformed
eclipses blaze, the heat, haze, surrounding —

Your world in smoke unseen until the scorch,
occupied inside, you become his torch.

The Second Time You See Marie Taglioni
(the peg doll ballerina of Princess Victoria)

it sits. You spy through slits the button back
mahogany armchair. Enchanted flames
backlight a black dot stare, lace headdress. Wrack
your addled head, lumbering limbs, for names —
decrypting decades, dolls recalled. Peg feet
hand-painted pink by princess without friends —
you, 10, first European trip replete
with castles, dolls. You held this one pretend,
cheap paper imitation, elation —
frustration, ripped before returning to
predictable use, prosaic nation.
Royal abduction before he took you,
who struggles, drugged, retaining thought in thrall
and holds his first — even most precious doll.

➥ Bio