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Fata Morgana

M. Lamar Berry

Little Low Life. 
Cling to shade 
stay low, swift footed, 
slight handed. 
A Roach’s mimic, 
scattering once the sun  
scales the horizon line. 
Be just what they call you  
and scurry away, little 
Wharf Rat. Be distant  
for your own good. Once skittering 
Insect on the wall, so fragile, at a touch  
you’d dissolve, then mocking  
Galleons abound, bobbing over  
shifting vistas. Now, you eye the crew,  
a Gull watching their catch, hoping  
for an opening  
and something to snatch, hoping 
they can’t see you floating  
in the periphery, hoping 
that the fishmongers barely  
think you real. You are nothing 
now, less than nothing. Stray 
Dreg dancing on a beam  
of light, Dust to be removed  
after one layer too many  
settles on a book 
unread after years, in a corner 
unused after years, the space 
unfilled but swept still to remove  
unsightly dust. So flit in 
and out, Little Beggar, stay 
just beyond reach, disappear 
before the brooms and the crews 
and the ships close in, and you 
become Impermanent. 

Spring 2024

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