Some Men Are All The Same
It is the same thing every day now: hundreds and thousands of gingerbread men just appearing all over the place. They slip, sinister, spontaneous, in little brittle fresh-baked crowds through mythic kitchen witchcraft to her life. Their biscuit limbs crumb underneath her feet to meet their fate as amputees. They grin in constant fondant smiles as unloved raisin eyes observe their muse. She is at her wits end with their trespassed pastry presence. Though once they might have spiced her life, they leave a bitter taste now, in her mouth. They tumble from countertops, stop doors from opening, waste time and space, shed trails of stale detritus everywhere. She crushes them in her bed. In desperation she rages, bites their heads off, spits them out. Why, she questions blindly, why does this always happen to me? Tears fall from her pastry-cutter eyes.
Fragile as bird-skulls, they
appeared in pale and feathered wafts
of water-mint aromas
gilded in summer’s morning light
slow, transparent, opaque.
It is true about the sound –
all harmonies and crystal tones,
and fragrant alleluias cram
from every gasp that utters
from your own mouth.
With no field-guide,
I could not define
which orders or which hosts or throngs,
nor identify gender or sub-species,
and now I cannot remember the details –
scarred almost, by awe.
But I really saw them,
I really did,
and they left behind an after-image:
that wear white wings in my head.
She built a two-tier castle from the empty glasses
guests had left with wine-stained gussets,
its glinting bubble battlement sighed-out of vintage vapours
where the sipping lips of gossips had once kissed.
She stacked them on a wooden tray,
then searched the lawn and flowerbeds
where sunset’s stale breath stumbled feet at alabaster cupids,
and whose dull eyes cared nothing for the myth that they pretended.
Indoors, he glanced her hourglass silhouette
from where he leaned against the bar,
and calculated how time had betrayed
its sands to make a desert of her features
and if, perhaps, her pillows dreamed of
strangers faces, sleeping guilty cameos beside her.
He raised a vacant toast as she returned
then clinked and crowned her hands-full tower –
belittled it to trembling chandelier –
and grinned, snake-like in handsome clothing
as she encoded cryptic smiles
and pretty-bloomed their language in her blushing,
as function-night dissolved its hours
with promise in their wake.
Later, within night’s silent heart
that beat through top-floor windows and
where lonely shadows mothed
their dark-winged scars upon feigned sleep
she longed for the day to bring shattering change
and he pondered, how, when morning came
he might sneak away his feet without them bleeding.
By Lucy Lepchani
Lucy Lepchani writes short fiction, essays, plays, and poetry for page and stage, and performs her poems at arts events and venues in the UK and beyond. She also teaches creative writing as an adult education tutor and works in schools as a visiting artist.