Anything can be a theme if you just repeat ita few times. Enchantment, for example. A friend of minesent me a link to a journal that was putting out a call for a special issueon enchantment. Who wouldn't like to be part of that? "SomeEnchanted Evening." Enchanté! It's the wonderfulbewilderment, the glorious possibilities of our lives turning outsilver. The telephone rings in the movie, and the enchanted woman,the enchanted man, answers. It's a beep or a word,and they're off. I'm not interested, I'm enchanted. Someone in a capemesmerized me. Maybe it was Franz Anton Mesmer,sometimes, albeit incorrectly, referred to as FriedrichAnton Mesmer. Make me write bad checks, you devil.Make me happy. Make me do what I secretly want to doanyway. Let's drive the countryside holding up banks,shaking them into a bag, laughing at luck. Oh magic.Let's set up a tent in the living room and roast marshmallowsover the burning furniture. Enchantment blossoms, as not everythingis a fight. On the Enchantment Table, enchanted itemshave a more glossy look. So whose sway are you under? His?Hers? Your own? In conducting the experiment, we're walkinginto a fictitious universe. "Where am I in this?" we ask, andthe answer comes back that when your mother will run into the streetto scream, your father must fall upon her. When she cannot sayyour name, you are to play the dutiful child. I don't knowwhat needs to be done. Enchantment is a terrible thing. You [End Page 285] try for years to be something and if you're successful, youthen spend years trying to figure out what to do next. That'sthe trade-off. Oh magic, in the end we all wear halos. My disbeliefrefuses to unburden itself. My disbelief refuses to suspend.There are always more people going to the museum. Theyare always buzzing around your head. I'd kill a flower for you. I'dkill a dozen flowers for you with my bare hands. There is alwaysno time to lose. Your eyes shine. I'd do anything right now. Make me. [End Page 286]
John Gallaher is the author of the books of poetry Gentlemen in Turbans, Ladies in Cauls, The Little Book of Guesses, and Map of the Folded World, as well as the free online chapbook Guidebook from Blue Hour Press, and, with the poet G. C. Waldrep, Your Father on the Train of Ghosts. His book-length essay-poem In a Landscape, is coming out in 2015 from BOA. He's also co-editor of the Laurel Review at GreenTower Press.