Ghost of Surprise Drafts


Snow falls, but no it doesn’t fall, drifts and flies and fights itself with a bounce, and hurries backward and leaps up and races ahead to see what the others are looking at – o nothing, and tumbles backward again. This mid-air snow that goes like a song, slow slow, then speeding, tumbling, flying backward like repetition building, crisscrossing, stippling the air into a spinning lace veil, so thick and white and fast, and then like a song that’s wonderful yet ends anyway, the drift slows, pales, gets thinner, and fades into the empty air of clarity.

But when it was so fast and racing, I stepped off the ledge of the moment into a snowy expanse somewhere, me, colored dot in the stippled white, arms wide, fingertips touched and nose and eyelids, and I had a wide gown on of thick green velvet, a gown trees would love, and my legs were warmed by the buoyant red heart they stood in under my skirt, that filled out its fat bell shape.

I think a ghost just came inside. I watched the heavy glass door pull open, the width of a body, pause, and shut again. The snow was in a racing moment too, so it may have been a snow faerie, my size, who opened the door, wove through the cluttered room on snowflaked feet, and is perhaps sitting across from me even now! Hello snow faerie, ghost of surprise drafts. If you lean under the table, can you hear my gown’s heartbeat?

I imagine when she blushes, her cheeks tint like snow beside an apple.



Dawn Sperber

from Third Wednesday, 2010


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