“The Spell” by Dane Cervine


In Peet’s Coffee, a young man sits by the window
on a wooden stool, grimacing under weather-darkened skin.
Fidgeting irritably when another man sits near to share the light,
he bolts to a far empty table, face tense, reddening. A woman
with a baby and blonde toddler carry hot chocolate and pastries
toward the three empty seats at his table, asks if they are free.
He says yes, face softening as the little girl chats amiably,
looks him in the eye, smiles. An immense beast lifts
from his body, withdrawing talons, allowing the skin
around his eyes to soften, smooth. The little girl’s voice
a spell, taming his demons till they purr like sated kittens.


Dane Cervine’s poetry appeared recently in the SUN Magazine, Atlanta Review, the Birmingham Review, and the Bathyspheric Review.. His book The Jeweled Net of Indra from Plain View Press can be viewed at his new website danecervine.typepad.com. Dane is a member of the Emerald Street Writers in Santa Cruz, California, where he serves as Chief of Children’s Mental Health for the county.