Ana, my bronze book fairy, rests there
propped up on her elbows, and reads
a book. By day she mindlessly stares
at pages that never change.
But at night, when I doze in my easy chair,
she rises and flits about on softest wings
and scents the air with exotic blossoms
that form a crown upon her brow.
That is when she scatters fairy dust
about my cozy study, and though my dogs
may stir, all remains quiet throughout
the house. Tonight she whisks me away
to a foreign land: Cappadocia, Turkey—
Fairy chimneys and strange cones
with natural caves catch my eye. Until recently,
they had been homes to humans, even those
that lived there when misguided Crusaders passed
through on their way to the Holy Land.
But before that time, only fairies of my Ana’s
kind lived there. Now they have returned.
I gaze at countless pigeons nesting in stone
cavities and on shelves, flying back
and forth, in and out, with wings stretched
forth, gliding effortlessly, buoyed by Turkey’s
hottest winds. But at closer look, each plump
bird takes on my Ana’s fairy form; fragile—almost
too delicate to touch for fear that a wing might break.
These are my kin, Ana says, and I
wonder whether she misses her sister’s
company. I offer her freedom, but she says,
I am bound to you as long as you may live.
My grandfather clock strikes midnight,
and I receive another dose of magic dust
that makes me sneeze, and then
I open up my eyes. Ana goes on to read
her book; but that will be a story for another night.
It is a poem’s absolute perfection that can lead to its imperfection.