This girl is all I am – Candice Louisa Daquin

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There is a secret at the back of my throat

a black tulip

that won’t swallow

the ash of memories

I was you see, a girl of damage and plums

you could see the embers beneath my eyes

like eighties makeup and Adam Ant

I was no prince charming

but the girl who played the piano with her eyes shut

because she could not read music

nor find her way to release

I see photos of girls who could have been me

with fresh skin and dimples

they can join groups and do things in harmony

smile for the camera, bow for the priest

whilst I shunned the age of innocence

or it devoured me

spitting out my infernal seeds

to scatter beyond my picking

how to climb mountains with minions

take a picture?

or smile in the collective conscience

when the stamp is already affixed

blood drawn

waiting for its testing

I can already tell you

it will be infected

with the grief that stayed and did not go

so when you ask me

why don’t you have photos of when you were younger?

why don’t you feature in group shots?

how come you don’t possess family and friends in abundance?

or even handfuls

I point wordlessly

to a girl in the past

licking darkness from her fingers

I say without a tongue

this is who she becomes

this girl is all I am

if it is not enough for you I understand

if you need someone who will radiate and take you

mountaineering and socializing

do not choose her

she has only the will of this moment

she is not a joiner not one of the crowd

but if you let her

precisely because of this

she will be everything

Disciple of love – Candice Daquin

When I met you, I had no tears

When you left me, I had too many

They didn’t stop

Though all the experts

On saline tear production

Proclaimed they would

Miss Daquin do not fear, they said

You will simply dry up, just wait

For a hot flash

Or a cold night

I told them

I have both

As for the cold night

That is now etched in ivy crept stone

Who thought before middle age

I’d be an old maid searching shelves for other parts of thrown-away women?

With no touch, no kiss, no arms wrapped around this

Hurt and lonely soul of water and menses

Snap out of it, my dance teacher said

You can

Have sex with cigarette smoking strangers

Learn self emulation

Or eat hot chili sauce with three layers of lipstick

And if you dance as gracefully as you talk

Well … Whose to stop the admirers?

She

Was a bird-like creature

Who would be tap dancing at ninety

But I

Was a disciple of love

And so the idea of swapping bodily fluids

With a thin-lipped voodoo stranger

Found on matchmaker site

Or a familiar face

Sitting by me in coffee shop sharing saucer as ashtray

Or lonely friend

Turning acquaintance to waxy want

Did not appeal

I had no more desire than if

I were asked to receive a house guest

Who didn’t wash

I was already

In my mouth of youth

An island of one woman

Yes I said

How did you know I am smarting? Convulsing?

Even I wasn’t aware

Except afterward thinking

When the school playground tasted of coal

And red fences were unchallenged

The way other children were already sulphur and minerals

How I seemed to be

Strange and boneless in comparison

Considering that great gendered emptiness

Swallowed in partial payment for not fitting jelly mould

I’ll take the rest of you, when you succumb

Did I mention I was a disciple of love?

And you, my ruination, supplied exact temperature

In everything you didn’t know you did

Filling the yelling bones of my chest

How could I have let you?

When I knew you were bred on cruel

Because cruelty I was used to

It seemed a still, varnished, normal

I trusted it more

Than kindness which would be snatched

Away like a lacquer fan

Broken into its false pieces

Only to take another form and try again

I think of those times

They are thicker than my fidgeting blood

All the answers were there

Blatant and dripping

And still I walked into you

Still I walked into you

Still I walked into you

Uncomfortably Numb-Christine Ray

stop
Once upon a time
i was an innocent
girl-child
full of trust
day dreams
fairy wishes
like many
girl children
barbarian
invaders
tried to claim
my territory
as their own
i was young
helpless
powerless
but absorbed
the lesson
shame

i learned to live
outside
of the country
named body
retreated
to the
the land
called
dissociation
to protect
the integrity
the fragility
of self
grew thicker
skin
became
a chameleon
felt rage
simmer
in my belly

told over
and
over
again
that I existed
for other’s
entertainment
pleasure
called
bitch
dyke
ballbuster
tease
when
i insisted
that i would
set the terms
for
who
when
where
my body
would be shared

many years
later
i meet the foe
called
neuropathy
that drags
me
out of
dissociation
and solidly back
into body
whether
i want to
be there
or not
neuropathy
is excruciating
numbness
burning
radiating pain
i laugh
at the irony

Uncomfortably Numb-by Christine Ray

stop
[Another powerful poem by our powerhouse of a poet,Christine Ray!]

Once upon a time
i was an innocent
girl-child
full of trust
day dreams
fairy wishes
like many
girl children
barbarian
invaders
tried to claim
my territory
as their own
i was young
helpless
powerless
but absorbed
the lesson
shame
 
i learned to live
outside
of the country
named body
retreated
to the
the land
called
dissociation
to protect
the integrity
the fragility
of self
grew thicker
skin
became
a chameleon
felt rage
simmer
in my belly
 
told over
and
over
again
that I existed
for other’s
entertainment
pleasure
called
bitch
dyke
ballbuster
tease
when
i insisted
that i would
set the terms
for
who
when
where
my body
would be shared
 
many years
later
i meet the foe
called
neuropathy
that drags
me
out of
dissociation
and solidly back
into body
whether
i want to
be there
or not
neuropathy
is excruciating
numbness
burning
radiating pain
i laugh
at the irony