Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The guest

I felt the day come
and settle back in
like a gore-full suitcase.
Heavy,
landing on my throat
like the careless step
of a stranger in a stampede:
here are my guts,
quivering with rubber
and electric wire;
my eyes
staring fleshless,
record expired
as old prescriptions.
Not pretty brown, just stark
as a child's horror story
from the dark of my head.
Hardened hands making
a last snatch at fading thought.
And when they tell you
it doesn't matter
say it back
loud
like a magnifying glass.
Like the painting of one.
Out back in the shaded
hollow by my house
it is blowsy and
I feel my own death
nudge gracefully at my skin with
promises of what may be.
Like a cat, urging on bird calls.
Forget wet flesh,
I am lemon cake
and a slow breath;
tea with a vanilla cloud
of oleander.
A pausing swell.
Sleep attractive as the promise of breakfast
and marital love:
the idea of you
all over me,
the idea of me
all over.

--Natalie Caulfield lives in Connecticut with her archaic typewriter and a river creeping up her back yard. Her work has been published at Ink Sweat & Tears webzine and is forthcoming in Penny Ante Feud.

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