Winter 1998 • Vol. XX No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1998 |

Incantation

I am in prayer! I tell myself tonight, my body returning me from my fall through windows in myself I never saw a way out of until this minute. And now I'm back and still alive. I wish I could tell you the Christmas music carried me on wings a few seconds back looping through Day-Glo wreaths and Santa Claus who appeared every few feet above the door of each shop, a tiny god the shoppers looked up to as they passed. I wish I could tell you I was only trembling because it was Christmas Eve, when I would be received by my wife and children in an hour, protected, and be at home in myself with them whose warming breath would take me in. This would, yes, come to pass, but for the moment which is this poem I am only grateful the star had come and stood, cocked above my head and passed me over: a storeclerk with a .38 had opened fire on children queuing up to whisper last-minute wishes in Saint Nick's ear. They are all dead; their little bodies like gamebirds all six spread out, then carted

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Afterwords

By Peter Cooley

I am in prayer! I tell myself tonight, my body returning me from my fall through windows in myself I never saw a way out of until this minute. And […]

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