ISSUE 3 · FALL 2009




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Copyright © 2009

Prartho Sereno




Man without a Wishbone

PRARTHO SERENO

 

 

Blessed with jawbone, elbow and knee,

a tongue for tasting, fingers to touch.

The lantern of his heart swings from its ribcage.

The miracle of his lungs.

But no wishbone bridges the yes and no of him.

 

When the genie rises from the lamp

he never knows what to ask for.

When the meteors storm an August night,

everyone matching hope to flicker,

he stands dumbstruck.

 

One day he froze at a fountain,

unable to toss his bright coin.

The marble mermaid took him in, gave

him watch over the cherubs. All spring

the children climbed the ladder

 

of his spine, pigeons made nests

in his arms, flowers grew from the curled

rim of his hat. These days I wonder

about the strange gift of wantlessness.

However we come by it: birth

 

or a long life of being nibbled away

by paper moths and summer rain.