Le repas

The way she cleans

puts away the day

into lopsided drawers that do not shut

well even on easy days

their contents lost in shuffle and exploit

planes over head, mornful drone, a whine

of grief as they attain height

her hands chapped from slapping herself

back to life

rivets run like zippers down her nails

a light somewhere is extinquished

another turned on, sudden furnace, shadows

vanquished, she has not drunk

all day, for the trembling in her hands

betrays the wait.

Dusk smears sky, oranges hang like

tired bosoms pressed in a woman’s dress

amidst plump leaves, blue-black birds

caw their hunger into the cavernous pitch, cats

with arched tails, disappear potently, eternally

her ankles swell with want, her thyroid

a box of treasure, alight with waiting in chocolate dusk

she dozes in her reverie, business put away

the calm of darkening, a hot bath scalding

dry air with its promise, oils filling her nostrils

pungent and wistful, infusion of sorrow

she remembers when

they lay together without fault

or breakage

the outline of their union

a mandala, with complicated lines leading back to circles

drawn in henna, indigo, cheap car paint, permanent in bare footed sprint

poured into a tattoo gun in the wild hinterlands of Canada

stabbed in little sticcatto for her eternal, sea sick

pleasure.

She lay then, thinking of

burning up

like fireworks

set alight to bloom and bloom till dry of pollen

in empty skies void of furtherment

she wanted to melt

the snow as she walked back

alone and hurting, wounded by her own loathing

a cigarette in her mouth

pressed against clenched, chipped teeth

and you? You were far off like winking lights in sea storm

and you were so far then… gone
without being gone

As is so much of life. Waiting. Closing curtains. Wrapping away disappointed hours

to bed, to claim, to screaming beneath wedged pillows

till the thankless clock in the downstairs anteroom chimes not

and without putting our heads in the oven even once

we are done
Done
Done.

5 thoughts on “Le repas

  1. The power and pain in these lines . . .

    “stabbed in little sticcatto for her eternal, sea sick

    pleasure.

    She lay then, thinking of

    burning up

    like fireworks

    set alight to bloom and bloom till dry of pollen

    in empty skies void of furtherment”

    It hits one in the chest out of nowhere. This is such a superb piece of writing, Candice.

  2. Oh, those first three lines – sheer perfection! Such sadness but really loved this piece, Candice. You captured depression and sadness so well. ❤

  3. Candy, My dear friend,
    It’s been a year since I retired from work, and now I have two reasons to celebrate! I’ve been reading your poetry lately, but have not commented much. I want you to know I think you are a ground breaking poet. Showing the world the heart of a woman who knows only love, and refuses to let the world get in her way. You show us the struggle and the sometime joy. For me – you let me feel the true love a woman’s heart has, regardless of where it is directed, it is the same – no perhaps more intense – because it is the sacred feminine shining from one to another.
    I hope my words encourage you to continue, for they come from my heart, with love, compassion, and understanding to a beautiful soul I am gifted to have met on this journey we call living. May you find all that you are looking for in the year ahead, and may you always be well, and be whole!
    Happy Birthday!
    Always,
    gfs

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