David Lohrey Machiavelli’s Backyard Available on Amazon
Arm in arm go the couple in white, down the aisle, through the crowd. Vows told in lace, speaking secrets in the midday sun: a bouquet soars across its yellow face. Consummation is a popular word for their grandparents. There’s a quiet announcement in the newspaper: congratulations. Congratulations from friends and family, a high school teacher, a neighbor down the road. Flutes of spirits that sing like bee stings and second helpings of steak. A Bloody Mary drops on the floor. Loosening ties, shimmying off shoes, slipping from dresses getting ready to dance. Loud voices in the barroom, singing on the dance floor: the bride and groom sneak out the back with a bag full of checks and cards. Empty cans of tomato paste clatter down the asphalt, memories of the bride and groom told long after they’re gone. Absolved of old schemes, and disease, and dishonesty, the couple in…
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She knows my failure: it engulfed her.
It left us both washed out in different places.
The grit of nicotine and broken promises painted a
nauseating patina on each.
Maybe now the glow will restore me,
drive away the ghouls of a lost year.
There is a beauty in laugher;
hers is much better than mine.
The fickle face of spring,
smothered in the acrid sensation of summer—
which by definition has yet to begin. I begin the slow ascent
to normal. My legs ache and burn down long hallways.
Breath alludes, breaking me at the middle; my eyes affixed on the shiny, cold ceramic.
Summer is the destroyer.
It crushes young introverts, who seethed at
pool parties and find the sun to be loathsome;
I discover that little changes: I still hate the laughter and humid sun-rays.
A dark room beckons me; the soft hum of air-conditioning is a beautiful idiosyncratic song.
We are proud to announce that Sudden Denouement Writer and Managing Editor Christine Ray has been nominated for Writer of the Month on Spillwords and that her poem, On Becoming a Poet, has been nominated as Publication of the Month. We urge you to visit Spillwords between today and February 26th and vote for both Christine and her stunning poem.
Congratulations Christine on this well-deserved nomination!