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A quote: "It is not only that the imagination adheres to reality, but, also, that reality adheres to the imagination and that the interdependence is essential." (Wallace Stevens)

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Io get my book: www.umass.edu/umpress/spr_99/donovan.html To check out Oat City Press: www.oatcity.com

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Crystal Ball / 1000X From that moment on, I felt about me and within my dark body an invisible, intangible swarming. Jorge Luis Borges I look at velvet darkness magnified a thousand times or more. It's still the same black doorway, deeply brushing past the curtained iris. Retinal memory of day blazes down the hall but nothing breaks this intersected light until the melt begins to cool. I wait for it to happen, balanced tightly on a line of sight at which I am not practiced. Quietly, the microscopist zeroes in. I say, I'd like vacationing in liquid form, but he says crystal seeks a state of rest inside straight walls, wants its suitcase to stay packed. The home I love's a thousand miles away, one word I must fish up and set in place despite the mad cascade wrens pour each morning from the roof. I pin my name to yesterday and stare into the polished lens: if I die before I wake . . . My face erases in its glare. That's when the night explodes from random points a pyrotechnic stab, all asters burst across the field in sped-up time, violets, daisies, clover's raspberry star silvered blue and green to fill the spectrum's architectural paradise. It happens fast, before you'd choose a certain step toward any next address, as if some clicking in your dreams had spun its choices out. It happens last. What is this stuff, I ask, spellbound by iridescent seasons in my eyes. It's DDT. He says it painfully. These roses have thorns. Oh, how do we manage to live here, beauty that cracks our hearts and always this way, a dry branch across its knee. A child, I shut my eyes and pressed my fingers to the lids until the colors bled and flashed free movies to my brain. The minutes throbbed their gay illogic then went black. I'd stop, for fear that what I saw would make me blind, and how would I explain the cause was only curiosity and love of what was marvelous? I'd have to say more, and I did not know what to say. I touch the slant of smoky quartz I keep as pocket charm. If thorns have roses, perhaps grief will have its house of rest, and if I'm lost so soon along the path confused in petals, may true north find me hesitating there.