- Magical Thinking
There was some connection to be made—your death, the election, the absurd snow—and I charged myself with making it, walkingdown Court Street after therapy, passing undermantled elms, watching the skaters' anklesbrace against the weight of their careening.
In the rink's center, a girl spun herself into a smalltorpedo, red coat flaring conical, dark hat poking outlike a singed wick. She was likely half my agethough it was clear she possessed something alreadyI had no hope of ever developing. My lot was to watch—to lift the velvet rope and lead her image through
the darkly papered corridor of thought and recordthe way it changed what preexisted it. As I startedsouth, the fat flakes hardened into white gravel. Poisonwafted off the newsstands in vaporous wings.With every step, I felt the girl complete another turninside me, flung on by her own centrifugal will.
Because I couldn't stand to face the other figuresin my mind, I studied her the whole walk home—her thrown head, cinched laces, her skate etchinglanguage into me with its bright blade. When I fitmy house key in the lock, her spinning slowed. WhenI passed your photo on the wall, it started up again. [End Page 106]
Maggie Millner is a poet and teacher from rural upstate New York. Her recent poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review, Freeman's, ZYZZYVA, and The Literary Review. She holds degrees in poetry from New York University and Brown University and currently lives in central Pennsylvania, where she is a 2019–2020 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University.