BellaOnline Literary Review
A Whale of a Tale by Kim Rumford


Off the Spectrum

Samantha Hunt

He sleeps..

arms equilateral
legs slightly obtuse
a perfect copy of a boy but
with angles. My mixed up angel.

saw his
face in stained glass
windows, followed him through frescoes
in Assisi. Wept at his embodiment in stone.
Heard him count down the desolate hours before birth.

I try
to decode the
message that whistles
through the gap in his teeth, as his
limbs lengthen, his brain grows bigger than
a planet. I am the watch woman as he journeys through
this night, pulling strings to the unwired corners of his mind.

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What is the sum of 5 + 3?

Reader Feedback:
Is this about the autism spectrum? I have friends on the autism spectrum.

This is what I get:

Off the spectrum is the dream-world.
I like the matter-of-fact opening of "he sleeps",
and the following physical description of "he".

Then the poetess imagining his dream journey,
as portrayed in stained glass, frescoes, stone.
The ending line of that stanza is especially nice;
Not sure if poetess refers to "birth" as being
the moment of awakening, or not.

The ending stanza is also very lovely;
"decoding" very apt for dream-world,
the "brain grows bigger than a planet"
to me suggests unbound capacity of mind's gift.

Really nice ending connecting poetess and sleeper.

Fall Equinox 2011 Table of Contents