Three Poems by Susan Mockler

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Transformation

Everyday, I deliver
myself to impossibility.
I transform:
Today, a bird,
my slumberous body
giving way to lightweight skeleton,
sturdy muscles, aero foil wings
that lift me, flapping or soaring
keeping me afloat,
keeping the promise
of escape.
How little faith we accord
ourselves most days.
Why not choose
to be nocturnal,
active only in darkness,
or crepuscular, in twilight—
darting and feeding,
or wading in coastal waters,
the warm surf breaking
around us?
Why not become,
believe, embrace
transformation;
why not take flight?

Science

I’m obsessed with darkness as a lessening of light.
Not a thing unto itself but day eroding into night.

It’s simple physics—objects absorb particles of light,
ambiguity of twilight, dusk’s erasure of the night.

If only I could generate my own source of light,
like fire beetles, I’d counter day’s erosion into night,

or glow, like calcite, fluorite, fibrous willemite,
bioluminescence, phosphorescence, abrading the night.

My permanently dilated pupils seek more light,
O Susannite, O rhombohedral crystal, my dazzler of night.

The River

When you walk to work

and the air is green

and smells of cool dirt,

do you remember the crying

or the color of the fish’s

eye? Do you remember

that your line stood

silent in a muddied swirl,

yet his catch stared

wholly from the bank

at blood and you?

But all he would say is, time

Is like the river.

Now, red and grown,

I remember the dying

and the color

of my father’s eye.

Susan Bucci Mockler’s poetry has appeared in peachvelvet, Maximum Tilt, Pilgrimage Press, Crab Orchard Review, Poet Lore, The Northern Virginia Review, Gargoyle, The Delmarva Review, The Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Cortland Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Lunch Ticket, Voices in Italian Americana, and the anthologies, The Forgotten River, Arlington Writes, and Furious Gravity. She teaches writing at Howard University.

Image: Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

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