We Dreamt of a City of Mirrors

It was as if God had decided to put to the test every capacity for surprise and was keeping the inhabitants of Macondo in a permanent alternation between excitement and disappointment, doubt and revelation, to such an extreme that no one knew for certain where the limits of reality lay.

—Gabriel Gárcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude


It is a difficult drill from the start.

We’re here to learn about deep water,

the kick, our bleeding valve & broken parts.

We croon the name, our reservoir

of faith or ice or glass: Macondo.

Siren-call of buried treasure drives us

insane. Cannot stop digging. Undone

is what we cannot do. The curse

of premonition: all are covered in black

tattoos; the ghosts of one hundred golden fish

gnashing their terrible teeth; we turn back

only to see us eat the earth & whitewash

from the walls. Such grave artists! We dig.

The rain falls & falls. We watch ourselves dig.


Amy Schrader holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. She was a recipient of a 2008 Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) award, and her poems have recently appeared in Bateau, Fairy Tale Review, DIAGRAM, RHINO, and Willow Springs. She lives in Seattle, WA.

3 thoughts on “WE DREAMT OF A CITY OF MIRRORS by Amy Schrader

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