Double Amulet

by Susan Cronin

One night the starring
part of you, the incandescence,
the cruel charm of
you, untwinned herself
from the ghost of you,
slipping out through
the scar of you without
whispering a final word.

The mewling of some wretched
animal woke the shiver of you
to break the news without preface.

The stone blankness of you rose
to the window to stare
past a thin reflection,
expressionless, yours, alone.

With grace she swept, cool as a thief,
all treasures from your heart.
In charity she left you to hold safe
the straw-stuffed witlessness
of you, the unshining
unremarkableness of you.

Could you puzzle her face
from the filth on the sill?
Would you taste her essence
in the sting of salt?

You gazed up at two stars, a double
amulet, she’d said, twinned into
a single magnificence.
They made their secret
pact lightyears ago.
They winked their cryptic signals
with one voice.

The guttedness of you
dull dusted in ash—
Had you burned the wish
to be her,
or her, you?

Susan Cronin studied at Rutgers University, Sarah Lawrence College, and The New School, where she earned an MFA. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American Review, Gingerbread House, Josephine Quarterly, Nashville Review, DMQ Review, and Visitant.


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