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Saturday, July 09, 2011


by Catherine McGuire

If, in this world, toxins were visible:
chartreuse streaks as bisphenol broke free

of hard plastic, aqua shoals of RoundUp
swimming the sultry air, towards you;

if hot pink cesium glittered as you drew breath
or swirled in glyphs through garden soil

near ashen gray ribbons of lead;
if your skin lit up with a rainbow of poisons

and polyacrylic fumes danced like diamond gnats;
if smile-packaged word daggers flashed

a dire green like tracer fire – clear, unambiguous –
if dangers were uncamouflaged

and you knew the odds,
would you still shape the day into a lyric,

threading these new colors into the old patterns,
spellbound and singing, composing a new myth,

risking all in one bravado sprint,
accepting the perilous bargain – would you still

attempt the daily audacity
of outwitting Death?

Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep interest in philosophy, the “Why we are here?” question that lurks under so much of our lives. She will have a chapbook released by Uttered Chaos in September. It is tentatively titled, Reflections, Echoes and Palimpsests. She is webmaster for the Oregon Poetry Society and claims her entire garden as her 'poetry office'.