Seven of Stars

By Marianne Szlyk

I do not seek Death.  
Lovers do not call out to me
as I wander through the city 
where the flute and fiddle
trickle down steep steps.
No one here holds 
the tarot card I seek.  

On this card, yellow globes blossom 
on lettuce-green trees.  The barefoot man, 
blond hair curling down a rough neck, 
peers at this fruit, too-sweet lemon, 
somehow growing so far north 
that herbs weaken, 
tomatoes are evil,

and sunlight washes 
bitter, yellow ink 
over a paper sky.

The Fool ignores me. The Magician,

concerned with his cloak, withdraws.

I must leave the walled city for trees

with fruit, music from automobiles.

Witches have always lived here, 
but without magic or money, 
without the Seven of Stars,
I cannot.


Marianne Szlyk is a professor of English and Reading at Montgomery College.  She also edits The Song Is…  Her first chapbook is available online at Kind of a Hurricane Press.  Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, is available on Amazon.  Her poems have appeared in Loch Raven Review, of/with, bird’s thumb, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Solidago, Red Bird Chapbook’s Weekly Read, Mermaid Mirror, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh’s art.  Some have received nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.  Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski’s Porch.  She invites you to stop by her blog-zine and perhaps even submit some poems: