Scarlet Lines – Candice Louisa Daquin


We were running so fast, lost our hold

on reality

it became a normal thing to

wake when darkness blotted sky with festive blackout

silence roamed halls of disapproval with tender switch

then I tasted, the purity of life

like a distilled drink, untouched by sweetness

this draft did not yield to usual fears

of becoming irrelevant as a woman

shifting weightless from one state of being to another

without permission, no discernible change

save the decisions made in our absence

by controller of who we are, when we don’t yet know

how to halt the discourse, throw stereotype and expectation

out with convention

the whip and goad of woman since

first she was brought to her knees and told

I control the discourse, your identity is shaped

and fractured by my say-so

I label your value or deem you worthless

because you are too old

beyond a date in time

there the guillotine falls

sorry you’re on this side now, without your head

sorry you can’t gain admittance into our club

we only like them fresh and mailable

any woman who thinks for herself, must be trouble

make up rules to control her, keep her cowed

give her endometrium and other punishments

it’s all rather biblical, said the atheist as he

inserted the next record of tricks

some cruelty smells like him

and his turpentine prostituted room

burning on false fuel, I was only 18 then

yesterday and a century later

we don’t oblige women with scars and fat

nor sagging breasts, nor any chin hair

if you’re greying or balding, go fuck yourself

no one else will

the seat in the waiting room is a laundry shute

out with the old, in with the new

we have voracious appetite for shiny flesh and unstrung hymens

I borrowed some platforms and sewed up my leaks

put on a negligee and three layers of peat

the bog man looked pretty good for his age too

hide behind war paint, chew through your sickness

give me succor baby, give me raspberry crush, give me voodoo

lovers who oblige the second time around and the fourth and the fifth

standing freezing outside Hotel St. Pierre

drinking your waste and glut of youth

I gained admittance on false pretense

hasn’t it always be that way?

change your name, gender, race

put on another person’s face, inherit for a day

or an hour or a life time

all the little girls want your number now

all the boys want to pray between your legs

serve me something unshaven and hot instead

there are fevers in the walls, trying to get out

we have three minutes until it’s midnight

then illusions are exposed, everyone sees the truth

middle-age never used to be a purple bruise

we made it this far

tomorrow the sun is coming out

remove the war-paint, undo divining spell

maybe the light won’t extinguish you

I want you to like me, for who I am

not the girl who tricks you with her little doll cries

was it yesterday or last century?

we lay beneath your blanket and you impregnated me

with the urge to live forever, never grow old

even the beautiful turn to grub and worm food

live fearlessly, wear yourself boldly, you said

as you eased the knife to the sweet spot

cutting upward from your pulse, in thin

traceable, scarlet lines

The border and the line – Candice Louisa Daquin

There are two people who live in my house

One hates the other

When she gets dressed she seathes with irrational rage

Undo good intentions, break promises, bury the light

Her reflection is an anathema

She didn’t ask to be

Born on a frigid wheel

Where half her life she is dunked in freezing water unable to breathe

And the other half sees the sun but knows she is soon to drown

Following the cycles of the moon like a lightning struck tree

Is hollow without its ghosts

They could be twins, she and me, but for the discrepancy

One is stable and reliable almost predictable

She can sit still too long, she can behave, she is smooth like a lucky pearl

The other doesn’t know what she’ll wake up as

Will it be full of a desire to hide from every living soul

Or flay herself

Or make love to her rage

Or sit quietly screaming picking at her scabs?

Will she try hard to “do what normals do” before floundering

And exposing

One by one

The unstitched hem of her irrationality and flounder

See, she knows it

The border and the line

Love and hate

Nice and fearsome

Just as she knows her eyes see too deep

Underneath the social lie

The polite surface

Where faux people demand to be trusted

And she’s never going to

One day pretend, the next day damned

Her mercury is poison only to those with expectation

She’d like to be stable but her emotions are daggers

They pierce at random

Paranoia, truth, paranoia, truth

Unfortunately she’s usually correct in her assessment

Of people and their shuffling tokenism

So burn brightly babies

You won’t eat her ashes tonight

She protects the girl who has a ragged heart

From further harm

She can’t ever be relied upon

She’s a convulsing spirit with no arm bands she can’t float

And it’s a lucky thing really

Since you seek to shatter her doupleganger

The last defense

Is usually your own

And I understand the broken

As they intuitively seek me

We eat our dinner together

Over broken conversation

And a shared silence where we need

No words to explain

Why children inherit

The mixture of right and wrong

Frayed souls, torn people

Pulled in two directions

First by others, then themselves

Carrying on the song

Of solid and insubstantial

You can destroy a person

And their pieces will reform

But they won’t be who they were meant to be

One watches the other

Wishing they could be reliable

And every day we wake

Unsure if we’ll want to live or self harm

The cut off a knife from your own hands

The stranger in the mirror when you look closely

At why you can’t act normal

And fit in with the world

One day pretend, the next day damned

Exposure- Aurora Phoenix

there is a burn

and I turn my head

scouring for the source

of the scourge.

there is a worm

in the sand of my soul

buried but squirming still

my feet are fleet

yet beat

many a mean dark street.

there hides a smoldering blaze

behind that lowered gaze

flames will not be doused

\stone sober or slightly soused\

though I pour forth milk

of kindness

froth overflowing

the scorch extinguishes



I run for waters cool

submerge my charr-ed soles

whisper to the ill-used worm

revert, don’t turn