The Windfalls
Sonya Taaffe


  For Greer Gilman

            She palms the spectacles, he clamors a spoon

            inside a saucepan, lucksmith, lockpick,

            old tattered shadow fleeing from their heels:

            all doors open to their drum of the moon.


            Once, by daylight, they stole an eclipse.


            Three hares in a figure pin up her jacket;

            he kneels to the lantern, snowmelt

            glinting in his hair, her thumb-folded hands

            slanted to swans and swords on the wall.


            Cross-legged in the loft, he asks for a ship.


            She makes him a mast: she wrecks him

            in her deeps, sprawled to shadowplay

            as the wind puts the candle out;

            her rook’s braid once bound a storm.


            Lenses cold on his face, he names for her

            the planets spun like pips in the dark

            they staved off again with clangor and rhyme—

            not for themselves, who fall from frame to frame


            like comets, all fire and tumbling ice,

            or erratic as thistle-seeds: for the next

            who claps hands as they take their bows

            mismatched and mirrored, light and dark,


            who looks to see with what treasures

            they disappear: hearts, memories, dreams?


            They take with them only the last

            turn of the year: the wheel spins

            behind them and only the frost knows


            why their tracks stop at the unlatched gate.


About the Author:

Sonya Taaffe has a confirmed addiction to myth, folklore, and dead languages. Her poem “Matlacihuatl’s Gift” shared first place for the 2003 Rhysling Award, and poems and short stories of hers have been been nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Locus Award, shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award, and honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. A respectable amount of her short fiction and poetry can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Classics at Yale University.


Poem © 2007 Sonya Taaffe.