by Alice B. Fogel



The subject of the fan
is a mere suggestion, open
to interpretation.

Painted bat wing,
paper leaf,
it knows its way in the dark.

Both shield against light
and quickener of flame,
the fan’s act

of concealment perfects
flirtation, graces grief. Folded
in on itself, dipped

in clear water, then—flashed
and flaring in air—spread,
it’s a generous offering in heat,

following a stark retreat.
Map, dagger. Target
and arrow. Overlapping edges

of weapon and defense.
The subject is full revelation.

The subject is cool refusal.




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