Three Poems from Lucy Lepchani

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.

 

Vision

 

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:

 

footprints

that wear white wings in my head.

 

Conquering

 

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.

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