Special Guides » The Poetry Issue

Make Believe

by

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Pretend I am lost
in a place where
love and lace
feel like synonyms
on the tongue, tasting
the chill air. What do you mean

by Victorian? I will take you
to the matinee in a carriage
where everyone will act
as if they are not
lonely. I mean, the birds
will be umbrellas.

Pretend the cobblestones are broken
so the sapling can grow
in the gutter, where the ragged children
find the small things. But this

is no small thing.
Your red rain-jacket, tangled hair.
The florist held the lilies
like I wanted to hold you,
shoulder blades as promises
to stay. That is to say,
I knew I was changed.

Pretend we are
playing dress-up
in all the places
not ours,
standing warm and dry
in the feathered rain.