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Cantata in C Minor

Susan Stenson


I'll be there. Stop fussing over me. Get your wet thumb away from that cow-lick you call bangs. Kleenex, spat on, is not face cloth. That's dimple, not mayo, chocolate, not beauty mark. I said I'd be there. I could change my mind. Leave you bent over the toilet, retching from the nausea of the cure we all ran for last week, planting our pink ribbons breast high, hooked to the sport bra, the spandex, the headband, the perspiration (not sweat) accumulating on our sun-kissed foreheads: retching in the middle of the night. Sleep one more thing. I'll be there when you give up talking. It will only be the eyes now, I'm guessing, that will speak. Whisper, wheeze, all the ooze and flattery, blinking shut longer than blinking open and with your little head on the pillow, too, breath's a simple rise in the field of your chest. For pity. I can't watch. All those giddy, inoperable years where every word from your mouth stung the smallest parts of me. Clitoris, ulna, wrist, the colours around a cut, tremolos of purple, blue, leaves of yellow, a small mole called brown.



Susan Stenson's works copyright © to the author.


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