By Jim Powell
On the back way there are planks laid across the swampy places, jet black loam where water pools in the dents,
a place on the path I double back to and catch myself returning mirrored in a sheet of water, the world
doubled back in the glassy pool: wind animates the leaves and the glint shaken from them winks flickering
in the pond dreaming at the secret center past the last screen of ferns and creepers, bramble entanglements
and periphrastic evasions this place a steady witness for the rehearsal of a ghostly life in signs
and tokens, clairvoyant the way dreams betray us to ourselves in a changeling masquerade uncovering
another nature another self to read in the face there in the water till reflection troubles the mirror.
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Excerpt from SUBSTRATE. Copyright © 2009 by Jim Powell. Excerpted by permission of Pantheon, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.