Friday, September 28, 2018

Face By Cheryl A. Rice

If I cry it will be worse.
Never my fortune, what few cents of entertainment
this body can provide I have always attributed to,
after my breasts, my eyes, my face, and today,
after a breakfast pudding of good bacteria, purple flowers,
green tea, peppermint, breathing pills and a vitamin tablet
cushioned by a thimble of applesauce,
I explode, vomiting into the bathroom basin headfirst,
and my face breaks into a hundred brokenhearted vessels.

I am Phantom times two, colony of one, unlovable.
This is the face the coroner paints after the crash.
Silent, voice box infected beyond function, it could be anger,
it could be psychology or grief.
Ordering a milkshake at the drive-thru is a chore,
and I am off dairy anyway, white sugar, white bread.
My sluggish career has no need.

I duck into a dark corner of the waiting room,
and after hours, I am seen, no good news, no news at all.
Isolated incident, it provokes no concern on the doctor's part.
I am already on breathing steroids, so his only advice is rest,
rest and lemon water to tighten the load of my throat.

Arnica oil is applied, good for bruises and bad days,
and I smell an old boyfriend in the chemical petals.
I am eager to select new words, chosen few, favored ears.
I am whispering to my lover as usual, raspy orders,
IMs my only hope.

I pray for a new face in the morning,
the body doomed to hell and its hassles,
no joy in forty-four joys, only embarrassment,
struggle, foolish tricks, toys.

I am humbled by my new invisibility.
It is the season to be humbled, too in love
with the sounds of my own poems.
This is no different.

I write because of all the decades I will not.
I speak because of all the time
the world will have a break from me,
and offer these poems as
a prick in the side of the picayune.
You too. Don't leave the slate bare.
That night is not gentle or good.

Cheryl A. Rice is founder and host of the now-defunct “Sylvia Plath Bake-Off.” Her work has appeared in HomePlanet News, Mangrove, The Temple, and Woodstock Times, among others. Chapbooks include Llama Love (2017: Flying Monkey Press), Moses Parts the Tulips (2013: APD Press), and My Minnesota Boyhood (2012: Post Traumatic Press). In 2014 she was nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology. Her RANDOM WRITING workshops are held throughout New York’s Hudson Valley. Her poetry blog is at:

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1 comment:

  1. There are far too many lines in here to pick just a few as favorites. This entire piece can be “felt”... and that says it all.


Bedroom anatomy lesson#3 by Mike Zone

Every knock I here I think it’s you left your over night bag on the floor half zipped open like you were here the bed is a lonely place...