Three Women

++++++++++++ For Phoebe
++++++++ 1.

Sylvia who taught me—
early—words were knives—
She showed me
how brittle they became
when she sharpened my
tender ear.
Whispering to me:
Vowels float like balloons.

++++++++ 2.

Denise said: Taste!
And she meant it.
She spun words
into tough and delicate webs
woven of razored sugar.
When you kiss them
too taut
her labyrinth
won’t let you see.
She left one last command:
Taste God. Now.

++++++++ 3.

And Elizabeth
dropped her words,
hard, artful, strict
as diamond breadcrumbs.
They formed paths
down structured mountains
to a perfect beach where
they perfect the mechanics
++++++++++++ of shape-shifting.



About the Poet:
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Soren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics, (Folded Word). His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage Press and another novel is forthcoming: The Magic War (Loose Leaves). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city.



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