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Post Road Magazine #32

In Elixir + Rewind

Tanya Grae

In Elixir

In the bottom of a mason jar, anyone—
     mermaid or sailor—
can get caught in a net with starfish, sea glass,
& the silver line of hooks.
     How a lure intoxicates
under its crooked moon. I forget discretion, to shelter my thoughts
with a smile. Transparent creatures of the ocean
     have no expression
in their lulling way. If we pretend they're benign & don't sting,
they don't dissolve—
     the fullness of Pandora's pithos
pouring to say what we want isn't what is, but if it was
we'd be immortal.
     Shine can blind a person
in one drink & sink the dark right into their deep.
How our passions maroon us.
     An hourglass of sugar turns to salt—
a mouthful of pinion, rudder, course.
     We enter naked
& take on form. There are no wings while we walk—
folded, dormant, beating,
     disguised as a pulse.


I look for what keeps me here,
that first love & breathlessness
my therapist compares to crack—

that high when I don't give a fuck,
when I feel like I've won, when I am
solid & safe & lightness, that yes—

To stay here is Hollywood & celluloid
reel, flammable, wound so tight
a fingernail can't wedge between

then & now, a spool of darkness
I replay when nothing catches,
when my prayer beads move

under thumb faster & faster, when
the bike pedals outpace the chain,
when all the plates I'm spinning drop

& ring the house to silence—
that flood of light
when the movie burns.

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