Some day I will live in a house
of butterflies. The doors will all be open.
On each oak table, copper birds whose
wings cast purple shadows onto
rolls of duct tape that spill willy-nilly
from baskets onto the moon-soaked wood.
I will abandon the castle of money, the river
of television, the succulent monotony of
middle age. My bookcases will cradle
obscure scientific texts and waterfalls.
The floors will be covered with maps, so
I’ll always know where I am. The washing
machine will turn on at random, giving
everything a chance to spin clean.
Each self that I wear will shine.
You will know me by the whisper
of my flapping arms, the pollen in my hair.
In the City
Wind wafts honey
roasted peanuts up the avenue
toward a ruddy drunk reading
tarot cards. Celtic Cross.
Donations only. Can enough
wine make him shuffle backwards,
draw the Death card back into the deck?
Three coins sparkle in his
tattered hat. A discarded paper’s
headlined with sex education’s
four illegal words: contraception,
masturbation, homosexuality, abortion.
Whiny twin toddlers tug their mother
toward a man with crates
of jumping rubber spiders
who drones tonelessly, They’re
quite cheap. Made in Poland.
Good for cats. A hippie couple
kisses, stops. Loudly he tells her
rubber ducks dumped in the ocean
travel twice the current’s speed.
A drag queen sauntering by punctures
the sex headline with a sequined pump.
Alison Stone’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and many other journals and anthologies. She was awarded New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin Award and Poetry’s Frederick Boch Prize. Her first book, They Sing at Midnight, won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award (Many Mountains Moving Press). Her chapbook, From the Fool to the World, was published in 2013 (Parallel Press). Stone had two collections published in 2014, Dangerous Enough (Presa Press) and the chapbook Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press). Her new book, Ordinary Magic, was recently published by NYQ Books.