The Story of Madame Chevalier by Ciaran Carson

You remember the Incredible Shrinking Man? I said.
Well, last night I dreamed I was him. It began the same way.

The shirt cuffs were the first thing that came to my attention,
drooping down over my knuckles in the bedroom mirror.

And my waistband and shoes were getting looser by the day.
Within weeks you could perch me on your knee like a male doll.

Later you would put me to bed in the empty matchbox.
You failed to watch for the spider that came to explore me.

I fought her with a darning needle, a button my shield.
She retreated from me on a thread. I followed her down

to the cellar. How I made my way back I’ll never know.
It took me days to travel over the quilt to your hand.

No longer a hand but an Alpine range of sleeping flesh.
I crawled into an open pore and entered your bloodstream.


Date: 2008

By: Ciaran Carson (1948-2019)

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