“Quiddity”
by Kevin Spenst

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Step onto crunching parchment, hold out hands,
and press the hallway walls as codices to down-
stairs. As if the hypnopompic were a training ground
for a walk in a medieval woodland. The trick is in
the turn. Forest-wise, shoulder yourself against a tree
and one firm footing, while your other leg glosses
the semantics of darkness. Slow dance macabre,
a vassal of awkwardness. Remember that in coming
back, branches fly like predators. The snow moans
more. Ask yourself who you are returning to. What
enchantment awaits. Each morning I write a letter
of love to the ideal of you: sleeping or awake; unflung
or far-flung from reality. Kindness is ordinary, but
your kind is extraordinary, burning from the unseen.

—From CNQ 102 (Summer 2018)

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