Queen of Hearts

Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Poetry
Today I put up a Missing Person sign,
Hands clutching face by the landline.
Missing: not of man or machine,
But a woman I was meant to be.
Sifting clouds for light and truth,
Champion for my passing youth.
I claimed her from dreams of fifteen,
Instead found a gallery wiped clean,
And your prints all over the scene.

You, angel shining in denim blue.
Cat eyes swimming with caramel moons.
Dragged your claws along my skin.
Gutted me clean like a ripe melon.

Sea glass smashed, curtains askew,
But I salvaged a thing or two.
Shreds of a Valentine's card,
A postcard sent to a graveyard.

Not you, but I tore up
The paper heart in this story,
Stole your favorite part and glory.
Performed the monologue meant for you
And got a standing ovation too.

Untwist the pens, roll the maps out
Time for dirty heroics and a breakout
Fool the guard, plant a bomb
Slather on cheap cherry lip balm
Hold your breath, wait for the cue
Despair makes cunning, makes you anew

Time told me how to find her again.
Where are you now? You ask for a friend.
I'm tearing out weeds in the back garden,
But if you desire a formal pardon,
Bow down, sweet peasant.
Like some self-righteous monarch
In regalia of black and red,
I'll shout, "Off with your head!"
When I take your head, this will end.