Secret Identities2 min read

By Frances Klein

Let’s play a game.

Put down the weather page clouding your sky.

Or better yet, ball it up, pass it to me:

you can be Stockton,

and I’ll be Malone.

You prefer to be King?

I’ll be your scepter,

use me to point from the height of your throne.

Now close your eyes and imagine a forest.

You be the Devil’s Club,

I’ll be the hand.

Sink your roots in the bank of the river, where I’ll be the salmon digging holes in the sand.

Throw your hood up, clip your belt on, sweep me off my feet.

You could be Batman,

and I’d be the mugger,

no trace of our presence save my teeth in the street.

Then burst through the canopy, take to your wings.

You can be Raven,

and I’ll be the sun.

I’d be locked in a box, you would come to my rescue.

I’d be the ladder

if you’d be the rung.

If you grow tired of flying then we’ll be inventors,

you be Da Vinci,

and I’ll be the Screw.

Or society gentlemen toasting our failures,

I’ll be the olive,

you be the vermouth.

You’ve always said I get under your skin;

I’ll be the virus,

you be the host.

I’ll float in your blood through this life and beyond,

where you can be you

and I’ll be your ghost.

© Copyright 2016 Frances Klein

Frances Klein is a high school English teacher. She was born and raised in Southeast Alaska, and taught in Bolivia and California before settling in Indianapolis with her husband Kris. She has been published in the Indiana Voice Journal, GFT Press, and Autumn Sky Poetry, and is forthcoming in several other journals.

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