Lisa J. Cihlar

Moss woman creeps among the people on Halloween. She counts the stars out in the open instead of those caught in swaying tree branches, hiding then appearing in flashes of far off cold. Her costume includes black olives pushed on the tips of all of her fingers. She has no use for candy so she carries a purse with giant red and pink cabbage roses needle-pointed on the sides. Inside is a gallon glass jar filled with water and a herd of three seahorses. There will be a full moon and she expects them to mate. She is looking out for a crying child with no one holding her hand. She will give her the jar and tell her there is magic inside. She tucks a small container of brine shrimp in the girlís pocket for feeding the horses. She will never need to know that they are sea-monkeys.

Lisa J. Cihlar's poems have been published in The South Dakota Review, Green Mountains Review, In Posse Review, Blackbird, and The Prose-Poem Project. Her chapbook, The Insomniacís House, is available from Dancing Girl Press and a second chapbook, This is How She Fails, is available from Crisis Chronicles Press. She lives in rural southern Wisconsin.

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