The Illusion of Belief

by Kate Fox
Featured Art: Murnau Street with Women – Wassily Kandinsky

She took him as one would take a deep breath
or a second chance, though some days she doubted
her own judgment, as when his silence held them
hostage at the dinner table or rode with them
like a soldier sent to notify the next of kin.

She wondered then if she could ever know him
beyond the familiar stirrup of his collarbone, moles
forming a perfect Cassiopeia on his back, fingers
tying intricate knots in monofilament line. And what
could he possibly know of her? Dust, a whirling skirt,

between the windmill and the barn? Scent of juniper,
wild onion beside the garden shed? Her mother’s curls
pinned tightly against her scalp, or her father’s glacier blue
eyes gone milky with forgetting? How could these mean
anything to anyone but her, divorced as they were

from the lazy swing of the pendulum? And what
of those other lives smoldering now under dry grass?
Their stars are still there, she tells herself, even in daylight.
Even at night, their suns continue to circle and burn
in a world of space and time. We all should be so lucky.

Kate Fox’s work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Pleiades, Valparaiso Review, and West Branch. She is the author of two chapbooks: The Lazarus Method, published by Kent State University Press (Wick Poetry Chapbook Series) and Walking Off the Map (Seven Kitchens Press). She earned her Ph.D. from Ohio University and lives in Athens with her partner, Robert DeMott, and their dogs.

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