For Rent


Again, the glass cage is vacant. Only the elderly
recall it was once a shoe store displaying Hush Puppies.

In the recession, Snow Whites took shifts in a coffin,
each inserting a bite of fresh apple between her lips.

When Superman tried to freeze himself,
the weight of the water cracked the window.

The fund-raising tap dancer sprained his knee.
The starving girl was forcibly removed, driven
to the hospital. The magician’s tip hat was stolen.

Now, when potential tenants view the venue,
they smell the history of failed performances

and ask the agent to show them park benches.
The agent enthuses about You Tube opportunity
and how glass is due for a comeback,

but the artists decline, distressed by ghost fingers
tapping their shoulders, chilly whispers in their ears
pleading see me, see me, see me. . .

— Sara Backer

 

Sara Backer has speculative poetry published in Silver Blade, Bracken, Crannóg (Ireland), Into the Void (Ireland), Shooter (UK), Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Mithila Review, Illumen, Eye to the Telescope, Abyss & Apex, and forthcoming in Gargoyle. Her chapbook, Bicycle Lotus, won the 2015 Turtle Island Poetry Award. A second chapbook, Scavenger Hunt, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in November 2017. Follow her work on Twitter @BackerSara or sarabacker.com/publications.

Editor’s Notes: SUPERMAN MANNEQUIN: Taken at Darling Harbour Imax Theatre by Steven Cateris (Flickr files, CC BY-SA 2.0) overlaid on cracked ice.

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