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Saw This & Marked It

Mia Nussbaum

SAYS THE SHREW to the pork chop that almost escaped, says the princess-turned-raven to the bean on the lam, I want to be your happiness. I meant to be your dappled disk: the rust from ring fingers, cleaned; a bowl of darkness, served steaming, with greens.

SHE SEEMS to have rappelled from the far tower. There seem to be people surrounding her, but perhaps they are ATM Machines, or new varieties of apples.

THIS IS the story of draw lots. Of king builds coffins for still-flush sons. This is the story of be free of enchantment. The story of stand into my hands. An invisible something will drink from your cup. For each day added, a day gets took.

IT WAS a lovely evening. The turtledoves did. Son, size of a thumb, told a joke and we laughed. This story is after the story of the clubfooted town crier, whose wily heart no man could win; after a provision of lentils slipped from her pocket so as she got lost she might also get home.

THE FORFEIT and victuals are your life. Take the weird, specific advice. You will come to a hamlet at nightfall—there will be several inns—one with revelry and light—don't go in. Ask the watchman whence his slumber; ask to clutch the spinner’s thumb. We manifest likewise. The historical portion of you were born.

YET OUR SCIENCE outgrows us, its seven-league boots. Pearls of blood speak proxy. There was once. There was once. An ember, a jug and a ninny kept house. The dismembered fox had so loved spun flax. After eating at the wishing table we missed the wishing ass.

TO SHIELD from the pinfeathers seeding charmed backs, to foil lobbers of heads from necks. To gather both ears, cost what it may. Of good courage, with due magnificence, to be.

ONE WILL cobble; one will thieve; one will resurrect from a common red stone. One, born with a caul, will move from luck to love.

AND IF they’re not dead then they must be alive. The sea we planted, we watered. The loaf against hunger we put in our cart.

WE TRUST a crooked soothsayer will warble our way. We trust the slow jams are soon to begin. Back from the conflagration of what was her life, the dowager speaks of turnips, culled from a tender farm; how they tasted slathered in honey, dirt-warm.

Mia Nussbaum

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