By Elise Paschen

To light the dark
of you where no
light has explored,

to trek the deserts,
accept mirages,
swim gulfs, inhabit

the islands, caves,
the rooms and alcoves
of you, the chambers,

to chart the arteries,
to join the valves,
the bolts, the nails,

to open windows,
to hazard exits,
fall through trap doors,

to upend drawers,
slam doors, to shatter
the glass of you,

but most of all,
awake or sleeping,
to learn to say:

No more to you.


"Incantation" by Elise Paschen, from Infidelities, published by Story Line Press. Copyright ©1996 by Elise Paschen. Reprinted with permission from Red Hen Press.