top of page

The Beatrice Ravenel Prize

Brian Slusher

Shadowbox: List


The shadowbox from Mexico
has tableaued behind its cheap glass
a colorful but frightening show
that holds my eye each time I pass.

Two skeletons with bony smiles
who stand like sentinels aghast
with brittle laughter breaking wild
at any eye that dares to pass.

And one has hands upraised in prayer,
twin golden wings bent towards the grass,
a halo ring instead of hair
that snares the eye that tries to pass.

The other holds a white fist high,
has reared red wings and blood-dipped mask
that sports two horns that skewer the sky
and pierce the eye that wants to pass.

Bleached angel and stripped demon howl,
each seeming drunk on laughing gas,
the good as giddy as the foul
to teach the eye that longs to pass.

Both foul and good will fall to bone.
See your reflection in the glass?
Your eye bright as a precious stone—
your eye and all so soon will pass.

Shadowbox: Text
bottom of page