after Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin”

There is a magic egg

inside each of us.

I learned this from

stories, but don’t

believe it,

do you?

As a kid I ate apples,


They told me if I

swallowed a seed I’d grow

a small tree in

my stomach & fruit

would slip like tongues

from my pores.

Though afraid, I ate

other things

hoping they’d grow


ants, dirt,

coins of small denominations,


& they did.

From my eyes, nose,


marched all manner

of nightmarish, lovely

creatures & I was

a flea circus, finally,

forever dancing,

so easy to believe.


When we were young, my brother once told me that a dead girl lived in my closet. I believed it for years, not because I had any logical proof, but because my brother said she existed, so she did. As a kid my fears were fixative, illogical, associative, and built on the pale framework of imaginative childhood anxieties. “Magic Egg” grew from the intuitive logic of my childhood and fairy tales, which Kate Bernheimer describes as the “violation of the rule that things must make sense.” Belief, disbelief, causality, all of these are suspect to the kid, as to the poet. Regardless there are unexpected associations and consequences: begin with a magic egg in line one and end up spilling life from every pore.


C. Samuel Rees is a Pennsylvania-born, Austin-based teacher and writer. His work has appeared in Bat City Review, Fairy Tale Review, Moth + Rust, Grimoire Magazine, The Account, The Matador Review, and elsewhere. He subsists on a steady diet of ecological texts, scifi, contemporary poetry, and horror movies.