September 2002 / Volume Three / Issue One
Alice Cone
Return, or Reinvention

Pockets of vapor
hover above the road,
within a swaying stand
of trees, beside a half-
open door. Scattered
apparitions of rain.
A breeze hums through
the car’s side vent,
a remembered scent
brushed across her shoulder,
entering a split-end of hair,
turning to honeysuckle
smoking off pavement,
blending with the heat of tar.
She doesn’t know,
isn’t sure where she’s
going, just continues.
She believes the tenuous
world could disappear,
the highway reconfigure,
buckled or hollowed
by a whoosh of breath
or cloud, as the moon is
apparent, opal, almost full
one moment, just a slice
of silver, translucent
the next. She doesn’t
know, can’t tell where
she’s going until she’s idling
beside the screened porch, and
once she’s inside the ghost-
riddled house, the walls
begin to waver, the overhead
light sputters and dims.
Somewhere up the road,
it filtered through the sieve
of her thought, the idea of this
arrival. She considers, at last,
its subsequent shape–
black stone lodged
at the bottom of a dry
well, or the bright green
cup she might have
hoped to grasp. Even now,
she cannot imagine it.
She calls the flavor of peace
to her tongue, practices saying
the one true word, repeats
the pattern of all creation with
her pulse, wanting to begin again.
Return to September 2002