LUMINARIA by Jan Steckel

February 19, 2011


Trick-or-treaters trailed down Gourmet Ghetto,
begging till restaurants ran out of candy
and gave them napoleons and brioches instead.

You were sweeter than Snickers,
more delicious than Milky Ways.
Your love was better than Tootsie Rolls.

Angelica, dressed like Tinkerbell, smiled shyly
when asked what she was. I heard her soft voice
for the first time: “A Princess.”

Miraculous sound, no more beautiful
than the flutelike tone of your voice in my ear,
or the burnt golden orange of your hair

when you stood in the slanting sun,
talking happily of the weed you didn?t pull
that grew into a pumpkin.

Later that night, your wraithlike body
moon-bathed pale,
naked in your own back yard.
janpoolLasVegas.jpgJan Steckel’s Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009) won the Gertrude Press Fiction Chapbook Award. Her chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) won a Rainbow Award for lesbian and bisexual poetry. Her writing has appeared in Scholastic Magazine, Yale Medicine, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Find out more at

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