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39 Lashes

by Rachelle Howe

It was your eyes that drew me in.
You suckered me, and I allowed it.
I would not be here if I
did not want to be, and you think
you hold some power.
You are mistaken.
You were so beautiful
but only between
your chin line and hairline.
The rest of you was irrelevant.
Is irrelevant.
But your eyes are not.

They are the vocal chords of humanity,
your history is opera, your past reggae.
Each of your ghosts sing to me and
I wanted to duet you in, to absorb the
three-four time of your irises
and hum some foul tune.

I am not at all crazy.
They might think so, might make
assumptions if they were to see me here
perched atop your dormant chest.
The papers proclaim me to be a vile,
disturbed creature, running headlines about
things dancing wrongly within my gray matter,
claim that they need to do something to
unearth my way of life. But my life is beauty.
It is much better to be dead.

After all, they cannot sing.
They only talktalktalk and
within their white noise
have yet to discover that
your damning note was your eyes.
These lashes, the
black hearted pretties
I now pick off,
one by one.

12/05/2006

Author's Note: Assignment #5. Persona. My killer, Damascus. This is a major revamp.

Posted on 12/05/2006
Copyright © 2022 Rachelle Howe

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Lauren Singer on 12/06/06 at 09:08 PM

mm different for you, rachelle. really raw and dynamic i really like your use of italics throughout, gave notice to detail.

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 12/07/06 at 03:36 PM

You know, I wish I could do something like this with an assignment. These are honestly giving you some of your best work.

Posted by Kristine Briese on 12/09/06 at 11:41 PM

Raw and strong, but still managing to be beautiful. Excellent.

Posted by Steven Kenworthy on 12/12/06 at 03:42 AM

holy rainbows this is good. i clicked on this for kicks expecting nothing and getting a face full of perfect expressions. this poem is so microscopically pretty that i had to read it a few times to really feel to the t what the writer was going through. i could be wrong (usually am), but this is so sharp, it seems that you must have written it from experience. an honest and bright piece...my fave kind. good stuff rh.

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