Still sheathed in silk velvet and lacquer with a flesh-smudged mask of henna, I glide out to the lanai. The tangerine night light shines down against the greenery of morning. I dip into my bag, find Klimt peacocked Murano, and bowl the cottony sipper of my narcotic— Alpinist 99. I look to my left. A bird is calling, perhaps a baby who thinks it’s a stranger. But I forget where I am. Mimi’s, and I am Andre’s. This week at least. I have been pretending to be a swan for five years. I am the world’s greatest swan impersonator. It was not that long ago that the idea of being swanned into mansions and cocktail parties would have seemed preposterous to me. To be swanned happily was magical and mythical, and would have seemed a supreme insult to someone who had to work and lived in bed. That’s why I’m so delighted to be the first old-school swan impersonator to sport a glassed mouth for the commemorative series that airs this coming Friday. I am certain that I am now a bona fide swan. But after the mask, I don’t feel a thing. After leaving the roof’s shade, the paving drops away, stranding me in something resembling someone sometime somewhere’s blue heaven— literally. The sound of a chime, then a gentle tug on the sleeve. But nobody’s standing behind me but me. Blue dead skin of the pool. One poison-lacquered toe. My ripples spread out over the infinity edge and the last hint of green in my reflection is swallowed.
About the Poet:
Clarice Hare has been writing her entire life, but is new to publication. Her poetry is forthcoming in detritus, Amethyst Review, Aromatica Poetica, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and Fleas on the Dog. She lives in the southern U.S. with an assortment of furry and scaly pets.