Dorianne Laux

Kazim Ali

Rebecca Gayle Howell

Ansel Elkins

Gregory Pardlo

Second Takes

Fairy Tale

May/ June 2016

By: Kazim Ali

In the acres of garden before an empty house an amnesiac prince
collects broken branches, prunes the fruit trees, plucks weeds from the
rock bed.

He speaks a broken language of beach and Broadway and on the way
to shore gets lost and finds himself in a cemetery at sunset, pink light
on the stones.

He cannot read the inscriptions but kneels down at a cenotaph
anyhow and recites the only prayers he can remember.

Why, when we wanted to speak to nothing but water, is he singing
verses down into the stone hard earth in a town he has never
belonged to, lost on his way to the shore?