POEM: Salt the colour of a God

Posted on Feb 7, 2017 in Poetry

Last year I took part in the  CV2 magazine’s 2- day poem contest, which if you don’t know is a contest in which they provide you with ten words and you must write a poem in 48 hours. Sadly my poem didn’t win but I thought I’d share it anyways because why not? Its a fun contest. Here were the words: salt, becoming, furuncle, bearded, fortune, hinky, animate, fervent, prune, and emerald.

salt, the colour of a god

the salt sits in my left palm
dyed with the small foil packet of emerald powder I found
in the dust that marked the nebulas boundary between dresser and wall
after you moved out

in the morning light
the salt glinted with specks of gold
the colours reminding me of Loki, and then you
how we would argue over who would win in a fight
the bearded Thor with all this strength
or, the slick Loki with his cunning mind
I always screamed,
—Fortune favours the smart
you always repeated over and over with fervent adamant denial,
—But Thor has a magical hammer

with the memory comes unexpected pain
a twinge of guilt
and then something deeper
I didn’t think it would hurt
I had assumed, like every love before you
that the throb of loss would be minimal to my person
more like fingers wrinkled like a prune in a bath
dehydrated, but still whole
instead, your loss went under the skin
becoming something that tore open instead of merely wrinkling

in my mind for a second you are frozen memory,
standing captured in the nebulas boundary of the door and the hallway
I try to animate your eyes, to make them tell me they love me
like before things went hinky
but the memory continues and you step from one side to the other
and I am left standing in a bedroom with salt the colour of a god

pressure from my fingers opens the window
I thrust my hand though into the morning light
and like a furuncle, swollen and begging to be sliced from the body,
I turn my hand over and let the emerald grains slip between fingers
trying to let go of the pain
that was only ever supposed to wrinkle,
never tear

– Francine Cunningham

%d bloggers like this: