Winter 03

Awe Enduring Countenance


They had a screw, loose. The way a deer throws
itself into the path of oncoming forest,

desiring cypress. Sigh. Press. Surface

          upheld the story of their lives, appeared
empty as most when know one was looking,
          when icebergs wielded the only mirror.

The way the window ought to look, mirror
          of the passage, out of the box, into the throes

on another mattress. Like someone else’s king,

the heart uprises, retreats, falls down dreamt, coming

up for err. Objections we’re closer than they appeared,

she warned him, briar naked and cold as the surface

of the man. They had a scream, riding shout past the surface,

          no one else for miles, the wide blew mirror.
She talked like a cellar, like his childhood appeared

in its parking lots, it’s spooky, the cars all desiring the rose.

Tangles. Entangled. Because someone was coming

through the phoneme lines, he felt tit to be king.

They were decency and all three wishes. Each king
who knew red happened if one turned on the surface.
          They fell to the see, happy, like flight coming

from inside fortune, from the unbroken mirror,

from yours always. Forget the lot, the ruse

was gorgeous; for the most part, stars appeared.

A bruise as a nebulae, all possibility appeared
          possibly at the mercy of its only king,

speech. Inside that globe, they had the use
of a mistress. She led them both by the surface,

by the time of their lives, into the one true mirror,

          where both were often sheen glowing and coming

to realize potential violets. One day, curt tone coming

down, too dire in the head flights, each appeared

to understand. He did strip off the mirror,
did try on her pyramids, slip into the opposite of king,

          yet something in their vessels couldn’t surface,
and each has been badly hurt as an excuse.

They leapt into oncoming coinage without looking;

they fell, yet appeared to dive toward the surface,

for a long time staring down a mirror, dropping clues.


Literal of Apparition









Heidi Lynn Staples (formerly Heidi Peppermint) is the author of Guess Can Gallop, which was selected by Brenda Hillman for the 2002 New Issues Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared or will soon appear in Denver Quarterly, HOW2, La Petite Zine, LIT, 3rd bed, Slope, Unpleasant Event Schedule and elsewhere. She teaches poetry at the University College, Syracuse University.