Slides (Interpreted by Nancy) by Nancy Kangas

Let at least my pocket
be protected from the ink
that could leak, for there are not
easy answers for that. Now let us
hear what the baby has to say.


Baby come on.
In this mirror
see the beauty.
The sign says BIRTHDAY.
It is a fiction. You know it and we do
too. But just play it. Just
kiss the elephant bear.


All right, said the devil, here is the sun
all high and sharp. Here is one blank-
eyed rat-mouse stuffed with sawdust
forever. Here are the children
and an apron.


Co-coach, your hair makes
seagulls envious. Your limbs
and his entwingle like a jellyfish’s,
a jellyfish who never minds the sand
in the sandwiches.


“We are one jellyfish” my ass.
This boy runs
to run. He could rent
rooms in my heart
but he runs. He finds
the cliff’s edge for the thrill
of it. He does not know that I sweat.

Nancy Kangas lives in Columbus, Ohio. Her poetry has been published in print and online, and for over a decade she edited Nancy’s Magazine. She writes and draws for Muse magazine, and often teaches poetry in residencies sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council. Nancy works as a cut-flower grower, florist and public librarian.