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Eclipse, a series of prose poems, appeared in a Lonesome Traveler Press anthology. This text went on to inspire a modern ballet performed at Lincoln Center's Clark Studio Theater.

I.

 

 

     The angel watches me like the Cheshire cat. I see her smile in other women's faces, the folds of messy sheets, in the buttonholes of my shirtcuffs. She turns off lights sometimes to tell me when things are dangerous. She turns them on when I am happy. We share the seasons, trading autumn's red leaves, the snowflakes on our tongues, certain puddles, and as you could expect - seashells from a sunburned fourth of July.

     I don't expect to ever talk with her, or witness the blinding light of her wings. She is in my dreams, resting her chin on my shoulder, nudging my hand towards my destiny, a transparent shadow gliding behind my ankles.

     But I hear her laughter every day.

 

     Once I was seduced by a beautiful woman. In the darkness of my apartment I saw the eyes of my angel in hers, and felt there was an invisible line I was crossing. I didn't tell the woman about this until a month had passed. She didn't believe me.

 

     I met my angel one dark summer when I shaved my head every full moon. I saw my secret name being spelled by the cows in my favorite field. I walked in the center of the highway for a mile at a time, with my eyes closed. I wrote about a golem born of a lightning struck tree.

     She likes it when I fall in love the best, because I like to share it with her. I sing to myself, walking down the street with a hot cup of coffee in my hand.

Her smile is there.

 

 

 

II.

 

     There is never a ship's mast I can be lashed to, and the siren has many voices. There is no handful of stout armed men to hold my already willing heart from spray and a cold green destination.

There is only her razor's voice.

     I know it from my dreams. It stands on my chest, making my breath shallow, as if I am a tiny man being plunged into a glass of ice water.

     She is not an image. Only her influence can be seen - in sideways glances or quickly flushed cheeks. She hides in the fragrant hollow of my lover's breasts, in the constellations of her freckles.

     My thoughts often run to her, and she waits in playgrounds, pushing children on swings high in the air. Their laughter is her voice too.

     She is the darkness of a no mooned night in summer that pushes dewy leaves against my cheeks. She stretches the road around the whiskey in my stomach, making everything take a very long time.

Today she whispered to me in the envelope of air that rushed in front of a subway train, as it entered the station. She asked me to step off of the platform and onto the tracks for her.

     Someday when I die she will be there, and it will be no dream. She will call - maybe from the cool underside of my favorite pillow.

 

 

 

III.

 

 

     The cherubs sometimes guide my hands through the labyrinths of my mind, splaying out sentences and paragraphs. The knots on chapters tied down to my heart are undone with whispers and giggles. They think I am sleeping, but my silent eyelids open their visits to my pencils. Hearing the scratch of the lead breaking, I turned on the lamp, to find no less than twelve or fourteen of them at my desk, arguing over the use of laughter as a metaphor.

     At the sight of my wild hair and beer garlic breath, they flew out of my bedroom window, casting momentary shadows on a three in the morning pavement.

     If they had stayed any longer, I would have asked for their names. If they had answered, I would have known they were angels, not devils in disguise.

 

     I once had the idea of a child angel when I was twelve. I was in a bar for the fourth or fifth time and decided that they invisibly whisked their teaspoon fingers around the tops of beer mugs, causing foam.

     When I was seven I believed they made the sounds on the radio in-between the stations.

     But now, I blame all kinds of good luck on them - subways entering platforms as I arrive, finding missing keys, my girlfriend's eyeliner. They probably keep sawdust out of my eyes too.

     But mostly they have me look for their open grins in every crack in the sidewalk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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