Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
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Marcella Polain

Bird, magic

Saturday night is all warm rain.
We walk the damp park. Beneath the hissing trees,
punters smoke, laugh, all wear black.
The doorman stamps a small grim reaper on the whites of our wrists.
His eyes flash.
Inside, young men stare but
your mother and I watch only for you.
There and there: those are your legs shifting your weight, then
dancing wild at the front, your
short satin skirt pleating the air like cream, your
beret sweating and pale on your head,  your
mother’s fingers tight around my arm.

Sunday, in the shower, I stare at my wrist, at
the small smudge of death, weary on his staff, in the
same bruise-purple as the last dress your mother bought you.
How she washed and dried and held each part of you. And
afterwards, Bird, you should have seen the magic she had made.
Your lips shone. Almost as if you could breathe.