SPELL I by Mary Lou Buschi

/ / Issue 2, Poetry

After Louise Glück


Somewhere, my brother is traveling—
The right side of his head
a red-clawed tulip
swallowing the cold.


Where to look—
down the long expanse of each train car
rocking through a dimly lit tunnel
dark buckling around me
as the car rises up above a city.

When did I last hear my voice?


What was it like?

Fast, bright—tinfoil between my teeth

And then nothing—for a while.


Listen to Mary Lou Buschi’s reading of “Spell I” below…


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Michelle Butler, “Transfiguration” (2012); encaustic on board

Mary Lou Buschi’s poem influenced this encaustic painting by Michelle Butler. The artist explains: “The poem struck me as a moment of transition, so I wanted to represent the push- and pull-forces… beyond our control when we are in transition.  The… ominous grey of struggle [is] gently pulled into turquoise — a color that universally symbolizes healing. The movement of the pigment in the wax and layers is evident so you can see and literally feel the journey.”