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Kathleen Brewin Lewis

Make Believe

Once I believed in emblems.
Signs and portents. The sound
of the owl the night you left. A shard
of blue eggshell on the path.
The blood moon after I miscarried.
Now I only believe in coincidence.
If believe is even the right word.
The spare change you deposit
on your dresser each evening?
What if it were the vexing events of the day,
the misspoken words you no longer had use for?
Pinfeathers in the hand; two birds in the bush.
Empty your pockets. Look, here's a nickel
minted the very year you were born.

Narrow Escape

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Languor of lingerie, parsing of pearls,
whistle and whir of the wind.
A tapering of the long road before you,
crush of the sky round the bend.

Forsake threadbare paths, the furrows
of protocol, sorrow of window and pane.
Pinpoint the hour you seek to dismantle,
the lair of your life in the rain.

Grit of the pear on the tip of your tongue,
scintilla of smoke in your hair.
Sensation of strength, premonition of mercy,
a descant of steps on the stair.

Pawn your blue velvet cloak.
Disappear into the trees.


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--Off and on from 1872 to 1968, at 9:00 pm sharp,
visitors to Yosemite National Park were treated
to a fiery cascade from Glacier Point.

Before we finally burnt down to embers,
I wished someone had pushed us
off a 3,000-foot cliff at night
like the lodge workers used to do
with the summer bonfires
at Yosemite. Make a glowing,
pulsing cataract of us—red sparks
streaming through dark sky,
a brief brilliant marvel.

Better than this slow descent
into a scant gray pile
of cinders.

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