Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jaime Forsythe


When I drew closer to the reclining centaur,
its breath hit me, salty in the cold, clean space
where I decided to commit the most serious

crime of my short life thus far. It seemed fair
to not only touch the plaster of Paris, but
to stroke the fur and trace the embroidery,

which was easy compared to most of the dilemmas
I’d been struggling with lately. It was a matter
of acting natural. The problem was in the tease

of details: a drip of red on icy floors, a hair caught
in the light switch, the bullet hole in the wall they forgot
to spackle. I paused at a projection of clouds, faces

turning into clouds. But the sculpture was on
my side. I spotted my doppelgänger and switched
directions, altered the angle of my elbows, seeing

that a small adjustment is all it takes to get the safe
combination right. It was only your hands
shaking the first time, jarred by the half-animal

hiss of last decade’s walkie-talkies. Security
was baffled enough to lag, and the polished shoulder
fit under my arm like a dream, like the dream I had

last night where parts of the city were missing
and my clothes hung in the trees, and the streetlights
dissolved one by one, all the way home.

Jaime Forsythe lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she tutors youth, serves sushi, and writes about the arts. Her first collection of poetry, Sympathy Loophole, was published by Mansfield Press in spring 2012.

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