Blue Swan by Clarice Hare

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
Photo by Cat Crawford on

About the Poet:

Clarice Hare has been writing her entire life, but is new to publication. Her poetry is forthcoming in detritusAmethyst ReviewAromatica PoeticaWriting 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.

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