White Petals Trodden Underfoot

I hid in the Acacia tree when you ran
but I stole the memory of your lips,
chapped by too much kissing.
Of your back with it’s open wounds
kissed in another way, by a whip.
The volume of orange blossom
peaked in June, around the time
you ran, with dollar bills stolen
from my Mother’s purse and
my sad, mad heart beating
in your ears.

Far away from the peach fuzz and
Charleston voices, antiqued by honor
and history. Throwing your people
under Overseer’s boots and
drowning them in cotton. Years on,
my man finds you in New York
so I follow his lead. And as I was
preparing to say goodbye I watch you,
for the last time walking, hand in hand
with your dark blushed Queen, her stockings
slightly wrinkled at the ankle. Coat, shabby
and faded around the collar but you,
you are blind to anything but love.

Later, you turn and rub your temple
with one finger, the way you would when
you thought ghosts were a-stalking.
Peering through the exhaust from
yellow cabs and crazy talk from
radio ads. Feeling my sharp eyes
on your neck, my tongue
on the flat of your hand and my loss
nagging at your memory like a wounded
bee, slapping against a window pane.


Photo Credit: Ervins Strauhmanis Flickr via Compfight cc

About Tabatha Stirling

I recently signed with Unbound, the literary crowdfunding publisher, for my book about maid abuse in Singapore called "Blood On The Banana Leaf." Funding stands at a revved up 40 percent so if you felt like pledging for some really excellent rewards and my unfettered love, please visit this link: https://unbound.com/books/blood-on-the-banana-leaf When I’m not writing or baking cupcakes, I am thinking about writing, reading, studying for my MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University, designing book covers, gaming or watching dark, blood-splattered dramas like the Walking Dead, Ray Donavon, and Sons of Anarchy. I am totally prepared for a zombie apocalypse!

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