the personal fables

by l cohen

Heirloom
The torture scene developed under a glass bell
such as might protect an expensive clock.
I almost expected a chime to sound
as the tongs were applied and the body jerked and fainted calm.
All the people were tiny and rosy-cheeked
and if I could have heard a cry of triumph or pain
it would have been tiny as the mouth that made it
or one single note of a music box.
The drama bell was mounted
like a gigantic baroque pearl
on a wedding ring or brooch or locket.
I know you feel naked, little darling.
I know you hate living in the country
and can’t wait until the shiny magazines
come every week and every month.
Look through your grandmother’s house again.
There is an heirloom somewhere.
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