The morning after the eclipse she rose
refreshed as a damp leaf, cool as a stone.
The cosmic vanishing act tickled her
hiding places, caressed her prayer bones.
She danced her morning dance. She brewed her tea
as if nothing were different. It occurred
to her she might have missed the mystery,
caught between what she sees and what she knows.
She throws down tea leaves like a pack of cards,
reading them backwards. She opens up space
for prophecy she’ll never understand,
tracing circles on the palms of her hands.
She runs to the mirror, quizzes her face:
Always pretty, always cold and rock hard.

~ Mark J. Mitchell


Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places,Hunger EnoughRetail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net.  A full-length collection, Lent 1999, was ,just released by Leaf Garden Press. His chapbook, Three Visitors has recently been published by Negative Capability Press. Artifacts and Relics, another chapbook, was just released from Folded Word and his novel, Knight Prisoner, was recently published by Vagabondage Press and a another novel, A Book of Lost Songs is coming soon from Wild Child Publishing. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster.