Three Wishes

Vol. 1 Issue 2 Spring 2014

Thrust open the heavy bay windows and make a wish.
Pull the curtains aside, clutch the sheer satin in your fist, and make a wish.

Overgrown, savage lawn— stalks fall, collapse with the weight of dew.
Where the road is, there should be trees untouched; that is what you wish.

Sinless air to breathe, jackrabbits, and feral dogs,
no fumes seeping up the driveway, if you had three wishes.

The smell of singed meat—that summer ritual stings your nostrils,
the window screen sections the street, black squares dissecting your wish.

Every sidewalk square,
each telephone pole placed according to someone else’s wish.

You want the street to grow wild like the grass you do not mow,
to live in long-limbed trees whipped back and forth by the wind; this is your wish.

Daisies and buttercups litter your lawn like mischievous children,
knowing their presence goes against the neighbours’ wishes.

Rubbing the window with a rag, you imagine Aladdin’s lamp;
his genie appears to you, divining desires, granting your wishes.

You watch a man with fingers splayed over the windowsill of a yellow cab,
the last rays of sun lingering on his tanned arm, and you make a wish.

You will not be trapped, while the sun rises and falls far from you,
smothered by the boxed-in luxury you wished for.

He waits as the traffic stalls, and you lean back when the embroidered curtain rustles,
its threaded lilies wavering with the wind that blows away your wishes.

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