Saturday, February 1, 2020

Claudine’s Fever by Chuka Susan Chesney

for Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

Her Bourbon father very seldom glances her way
His hazel eyes congealed in molluscan study
Until she’s consternated by a typhoid malaise
He spirals down to optical her macaron brow
But she beats his mantle shell with
Two-ounce fists

They have recently slugged from 
Their manor in Montigny
To a dank box building
A plastered cavity
By the bibliothèque
On Rue Jacob
The sunlight oak-barrelled
In Hennessy brandy

She surveys the mirror above the
Cointreau desk
Framed by tortoiseshell,
Her fiddlehead curls
And gastropod chin
Like an upside-down snifter

The claflouti rash
Consumed by ebony cherries
She picks them one by one
Off her indented chest

Chuka Susan Chesney is an artist and a poet. Her poems, art, and/or flash fiction have been published in Peacock Journal, Inklette, New England Review, Compose, Picaroon, and Lummox. Chesney’s paintings and collages have been in exhibitions and galleries across the United States.

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