Bob Dornberg  © 2007 All Rights Reserved


                 —after Edvard Munch’s “Three Girls on a Pier”

Dear Lily, we wandered down this pier and got stuck in a Munch. Our dresses lengthened and fused together like melted candy. Weird thing—we cast no shadow. J’s hair turned the color of M’s dress and suddenly I’m in white with a black sash—looks like I’m tied to the pier. There’s a bush higher than any house and its reflection plunges into the water. An early moon rises yet it’s still day. They serve excellent cocktails somewhere. No one curves down the road, or peers out a window. Not a thing moves. My collar itches in the sun. It turns red here near sunset, and three men stroll past. One always turns around, checks out the Krakatoa sky, and shudders.



Thimble of White French

He returns with whiskers and rainbows
in a cooler, carried from Quebec
where Fond du Lac is dark

as Aunt Joan’s hair, slight pin
curl over an ear, legs crossed
twice, a corkscrewed egret

aware of shifting rocks. She perches
beneath a fringe of green poppies sold
to patio matrons who don’t know daisy

from dahlia, but it’s pretty anyway
and draws each fishbone from her teeth
and rows them up like rays, a toothed

platter. She has brought a thimble
of white French for the salad, and
we think it is just for her. My mother

downs a Manhattan at the sink,
already giggling from my father’s
rough chin and the up north

stories in his hands. Mine are chapped
from squeezing lemons, wondering
when dinner got so complicated.

Amy Bracken Sparks
Copyright © 2007


Amy Bracken Sparks is the author of the book serious red and the chapbook queen of cups. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Denver QuarterlySouthern Poetry Review, and Barn Owl Review. An editor at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she is completing the NEOMFA program in Ohio.

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