Simpson Forceps, 1910

The padlock of twilight fastens you inside a dream.
First one pair of hands, then two, in valiant duplex,
may stretch forth unnaturally—of and outside nature,
a tickling, flinching mimicry of one’s symphony—
awaiting which smeared palimpsest of identity?
What might he see when the light catches the metal?
And which great bastion of technical expertise
prowls mightily toward this chthonic boundary?
What might the curtains breed but darkness?
What might they intend a dark red velvet sheet
to cover but an ellipsis? Without counterbalance,
practical considerations reign. And so on.

HALEIGH YASPAN is a writer whose work has appeared in Stoneboat Literary Journal, Cumberland River Review, Palette Poetry, California Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her scholarly work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the New York Public Library, Duke University, Florida State University, and Smith College. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.