Day Two, ROAR Showcase: Le rapas by Candice Louisa Daquin

Le rapas

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, mournful 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 extinguished

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 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 wild Canadian hinterlands. stabbed in staccato 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

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

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.

Candice Louisa Daquin is of Sephardi French/Egyptian descent. Born in Europe, Daquin worked in publishing before immigrating to America to become a Psychotherapist, where she has continued writing and editing whilst practicing as a therapist. Daquin is Senior Editor at Indie Blu(e) Publishing, a feminist micro-press. She freelances as Writer-in-Residence for Borderless Journal and Poetry & Art Editor for The Pine Cone Review. Her next personal book of poetry is Tainted by the Same Counterfeit (Finishing Line Press, coming out 2022). Find more of her work at http://www.thefeatheredsleep.com

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