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It started before the first guests began arriving, before the three hour tapers began melting their last hour, before the chocolates & gin, before the swarms of bees began making their way north, and the mice began stealing clumps of hair from your brushes, before the nightmares of your father’s death, and once it started, and you knew it would, you could hear its click like a mechanical valve in the heart, feel it lean into you like your tongue curled in your mouth, pressing like the new book under your jacket as you head out into the downpour, tight in the gut as the flame-tipped arrow before it’s sprung to set the floating coffin ablaze, thief, thief, hand on the back of the neck, hand on the poisoned apple, as if safety were a place we could be pulled to.

Posted 09/07/14
Originally appeared in Puerto del Sol: Summer 2011; First Place, 2011 Puerto del Sol Poetry Prize, judged by Julie Carr. Please consider subscribing/supporting Puerto del Sol; you can do so here: http://www.puertodelsol.org/current.html
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