The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Jose A. Alcantara

On Aging

I did not know childhood was a spell.

                                                         --Larry Levis


And that one day the incantation would wear off,
that all the princes would turn back into frogs,
that the rabbit would jump back into the black depths
of an even blacker hat, that someday, somebody
would drop the crystal ball, and from then on I would walk
barefoot, pulling shards from the soles of my feet.

But after the scarred years, comes a time of white magic,
a time of wizened rabbits laughing, of old frogs
singing spells from the belly of the pond.
With the shards, I make stained glass. With the blood
on my fingers, I paint my face. Now I am a clown
dancing, abracadabra , the only word I know.




JOSE A. ALCANTARA is a father and math teacher who lives in western Colorado. His poems have appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review, Palimpsest, and 99 Poems for the 99%. He was a 2013 Fishtrap Fellow in Poetry.