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The Taste of Winter by Candice Daoud


Two candles rise up
from the abyss
that was once your soul.
I have polished
all the pennies you saved
and now I sit crossed-legged
like a little girl
and watch them spin.
You lie taciturn and starved
under a full fathom of ink.

I miss the taste of winter
in your ever-presumptuous grin.
The fights, the circumlocutions,
the stars pressed to fine powder,
these gifts now lie overturned
in a fish tank that once passed for a universe.

I used to believe in things.
Love was vast and fluttery
like a meadow full of foreign wings.
When the bottom is too far down
we call it falling
but I didn’t fall to these depths
I jumped and I am still jumping
just encase a vulture
should pass overhead
and pull me feet first
from the singe-colored clouds.

You are a stone Buddha,
a multi-tiered wedding cake,
a suitcase full of thorns.
I think and panic
and when the quiet comes
I sob until all hope is extinguished.
I want you to know
that I can still feel
my pulse moving
like a little fish
in a pond
that is all circles
and lotus blossoms.

How could you be so devastating?
How dare you.
How dare you.
I am only one person.
The world on my shoulders slouches
as I reach out to readjust
another misplaced sunrise.
When there is nothing left of us
but the passage of time
I will go out with offerings of wisteria
and make love to the moon
until my heart shatters like a vase.

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