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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


Wishing Well

I want everything changed:
suddenly I know this
the way I know the scent of oranges:

I want a changed bed,
different flowers, altered hours,
new purpose--everything--

scattered: pieces to shuffle
in a changed geography,
life a cryptogram.

But here comes Heraclitus
fording the mountain stream
in wintertime, and barefooted.

Water tosses its chilly noose
around his hairless ankles.
He tells me,
It's already happened.


We argued beside the Danube.
Water low and sun in my eyes.
Are those pylons—
what is the term
in a structure that ancient,
ashlar legs of the bridge
spanning river and centuries?

    Perhaps the long
car ride, featureless autobahn,
affected our moods. Or
too-bright days, and too-hot
days, Europe begging for rain.
Even the famous river
sluggishly unimpressive.

I sat by the old well
in the alt-rathaus-platz,
wished for water. You brought
Evian, in plastic bottles.
    The argument
left to explore some 14th-c.
side street while we
walked halfway across
the medieval bridge—
arches, keystones, capstones
layers of reconstruction.

In Munich, after two days
the argument either
returned or reconstructed.
So it goes, so it goes.
Time again for pylons,
I suppose, and bridges.


Researchers in microelectronics have constructed a guitar
    from a single silicon crystal. Theoretically, it could be
    played (it has strings), but would produce a sound beyond
    the range of human hearing.

I am small
  a small sound
     from the crystal bell
       in grandmother's
         china cabinet

& smaller still
  a microbe floating
    on a dustmote

I am a molecule
  still, frozen in
       tinier than

the tiniest thing
you know

I play for you
  pluck a love song
     on my nano guitar
       & you must strain
          to listen

it is not meant
to be easy

listen: not with your ears
  never with your ears
    only secretly
       in the subtle vibrations
         of atoms which

I strum constantly
against your soul.


for Judith

We ran, leaves before a bitter wind,
& some ran headlong & some in circles,
we did not know what to do with ourselves,

& watched, pressed to our windows & could
do nothing: streets erupted with people
like clustered beetles wakened from dormancy.

We walked, in all directions but mostly north,
& we were silent and our mouths were dry.
Things like shoes and hats made us human.

We wept and it was not sufficient,
& swept, then, for months & recalled
mostly paper, the ways we occupy ourselves,
the mild wind carrying what lingered. Scraps.

        (after “Exhibit 13” Blue Man Group, 2002)

Copyright 2008, Ann E. Michael. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Ann E. Michael earned her MFA in poetry from Goddard College and is currently the writing coordinator at DeSales University in eastern PA. She is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry; her website is www.annemichael.com. Her poems and essays have previously appeared on the web and in print journals beginning in 1982. Archives of SNReview include some of her poems.