Mary Lou Buschi's poems have appeared or are appearing in Anderbo, Willow Springs,
The Laurel Review, Cream City Review, RHINO, The Collagist, Pank, Tar River Poetry,
Fourway Review, among others. She earned an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College
Masters Program for Writers. Mary Lou is also a mentor for new teachers through the
Teaching Resident program at Teacher�s College, Columbia University. She is a special
education teacher in the Bronx (New York, USA).


A steady stream
of simple syrup
skims its way into whisky.

Tiny brown stars
score a lemon slice.

The air outside—clean—cool.
The occasional thrush
of a car moving west.

I shiver a little—

A circle within a circle sinks
until there is nothing left.


I was late off the train,
fire trucks filling the street,
men in uniform ready to advance,

strange baby heads smiling into the mess of it.

The sky fat with ruin.

Blood on their faces, blood on the ground,
a clown, a clarinet, a band of girls with red lips,
swinging batons.

It's a parade.

A flash gathering—a moment of harried joy.

Somewhere a boy's fear
scissors into his ribcage.
Fire in the sky—fire in his palm.

How the stars fall over him.

Rows of them,
armies of them, families with babies and babies...
Plump fists wrapped around slim wooden flag poles,
stars in their hands—

Watch as we ruin your life.


Into a molar
A tongue.
Into a neckline
The body leaps.

Through sleeves
Go two arms.

Into the sky
Pigeons tossed.

Into the door of your heart
A chorus of popes

Into a sock
Goes the foot.

Into the wind
A kite string unraveled
To its wooden handle.

The Place of No Magic

It's somewhere over a bridge made of triangles (for obvious reasons). Wallets never burst into flame, there's nothing hiding in anyone's ear, and rabbits are just rabbits. There's a peace there that we cannot imagine because we have been taught tricks. The disappearing cabinet, the guy at the party who doesn't know how to introduce himself, "Pick a card," or better, he unpacks 100 scarves from his palm to help you fall in love. The truth is I hate magicians only slightly less than clowns—so starved for attention that they are willing to hold their breath underwater while wearing a straight jacket. They do it because we watch them and we wait, and maybe hope, a little, that they fail. Hope that the trick ends in death and the bridge to that place, the place of no magic appears because we want an access point, a slight of hand, where a spectacle in a cape with a wand can vanish through those triangular shapes.

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