by Joanie Mackowski

A momentary rupture to the vision:

the wavering limbs of a birch fashion

the fluttering hem of the deity’s garment,

the cooling cup of coffee the ocean the deity

waltzes across. This is enough—but sometimes

the deity’s heady ta-da coaxes the cherries

in our mental slot machine to line up, and

our brains summon flickering silver like

salmon spawning a river; the jury decides

in our favor, and we’re free to see, for now.

A flaw swells from the facets of a day, increasing

the day’s value; a freakish postage stamp mails

our envelope outside time; hairy, claw-like

magnolia buds bloom from bare branches;

and the deity pops up again like a girl from

a giant cake. O deity: you transfixing transgressor,

translating back and forth on the border

without a passport. Fleeing revolutions

of same-old simultaneous boredom and

boredom, we hoard epiphanies under the bed,

stuff them in jars and bury them in the backyard;

we cram our closet with sunrise; prop up our feet

and drink gallons of wow!; we visit the doctor

because all this is raising the blood’s levels of

c6H3(OH)2CHOHCH2NHCH3, the heart caught

in the deity’s hem and haw, the oh unfurling

from our chest like a bee from our cup of coffee,

an autochthonous greeting: there. Who saw it?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanie Mackowski’s poetry collections include The Zoo (2002) and View from a Temporary Window (2010). She received a BA from Wesleyan University, was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, and received a PhD from University of Missouri. A teacher at the university level for many years, she has worked as a French translator, a journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a juggler. She is the winner of the 2003 Kate Tufts Discovery award, and the 2008 Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson award.

NOTE: “Epiphany” by Joanie Mackowski was originally published in Poetry Magazine (November 2011). I meant to run this poem on Sunday, January 6, 2012 (the traditional day of Epiphany), but here it is a day late!