after Maggie Taylor

In another version, Alice stayed in her original form.

No scalability potion, just a girl holding an empty egg cup,

feet submerged in grey weedy waters, maybe an estuary,

maybe not. It’s a matter of time, the dull foliage murmured

in the background. She held her lips after seven departed birds

had flown back from the blank and huddled around her.

The colours from The Birds of America screamed out: O it’s scarlet!

Or more like a dodo’s! A flash of Xanadu on their breasts,

wings, irises: carefully preserved, songs downloadable.

Memory is a reproduction of loss, but who has won?

Her Prussian blue dress blended in with the lunisolar sky

though the blue looked all wrong. Too safe, too lifelike.

And the present tense? Who will dare speak the day?

The cumulus clouds think they have won. The pink knotted

fan coral branching out this season claims it has won.

What’s in your other hand? A knife? The egg we’ve stolen?