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Carol Cummons May 2015
After the butterflies die, they leave behind bullet-holes -
Last words of my lover are rusting like lead in my soul.
Each new bride's dressed up white in the web that you've spun,
X marks the rock in the river where you've hidden the gun.

And now she's the fool with the gold, I was just the canary -
Now my ribs are a cave, and within there's a pit like a cherry.
Deep inside every diamond beats a heart black as coal,
Every stone that I swallowed is a star that you stole.

Rooftop sky like a sea, shark-blue eyes like the tide -
Everyone has a past where paradise and the pavement collide.
Habits die hard, so lead me like a lamb to the slaughter,
And hold my hand while you hold my head under the water.

Never before has a happy end tasted so bitter -
Never again will your last gift cast quite the same glitter.
Until my castles crumble and my dreams turn to dust,
My hand still crowns you king, with this ring may I rust.
This is my first "acrostic" poem.

I was inspired by Lewis Carroll's "A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky", a subversive little snippet of verse in which he begins every sentence with a letter of his muse's name: Alice Pleasance Liddel.

My own devil is much darker, and so is his resulting poem.
Carol Cummons Jan 2014
There once was a boy with blue eyes,
Who was really a wolf in disguise.
Excepting, of course,
He was hung like a horse,
Which is always a lovely surprise.
Carol Cummons Jan 2014
There once was a girl with red hair,
Who hoped that the Devil may care.
She burned like the stars,
While he smoked his cigars,
And words hung like swords in the air.
Carol Cummons Jan 2014
All our lives are lived blindly and poorly,
Empty hearts filled with gold, guns, and glory.
But with you, every cell
Is a clock, striking twelve
Like the end, or the start of a story.
Carol Cummons Mar 2013
For every single barracuda smile.

Every apple that we didn't bite. All the dull exotic things I never had the chance to say. The way the ocean is louder at night, the glittering bones of the city, the taste of black cherries. For every paper star, and liquid street, suburban summer mattress like a shrine.

For hands like deep-sea divers through your hair.

The unknown red interior of you, the foreign countries of your thoughts. For every back of matchbook message, every finger tracing up my thighs, and for our reckless lips rubbed raw and red. For all the casual knives of conversation, the snow like stained glass underneath the sky.

For illuminated cities half-submerged.

Every exquisite impulse and grass-scented infidelity. For my heart like glass, like coal, like diamond. The salt and starless seas that crave a sailor. For the hand-grenade of lust and the ugly gardens of regret. For your eyes like earthquakes, like cigarettes, like disaster.

For every dark-haired, blue eyed boy.
Carol Cummons Mar 2013
Half sweat, half sweet, her sea-salt skin,
My sun, my star, my scorpion -
Is tarot-tongued and tiger-tame,
And pink, and pure, and so profane -
A painted, pagan, poetess,
All dizzy depth and paper dress -
And carousels, and cigarettes,
On cloudless skies, her silhouette -
Is scissors through the sundown silk,
She moves like molten mood in milk -
All infernos, and ivory,
And orchids, and obscenity -
And brothels full of butterflies,
She steals the starlight from the skies -
Her whisper makes the world wet,
My ******, velvet, Violet.
Carol Cummons Mar 2013
It was peppermint,
snowflake blonde hair spilling into gold
the foxlike amber of my skin
against her phosphorescent white.
She made me seasick with her bird-blue eyes
and stuck like cotton candy to my fingers.

Her name was Phoenix,
and she scared me with her firecracker will.
It made my lungs into waterfalls
my thoughts and fingers, butterflies.
My carbon-copy hair carnelian red
a solar flare, an Icarus, an imitation star.

We were virgins,
and volcanoes. Sharing milkbox wishes
on rooftops and climbing trees like horses
instead of tiger-mouthed boys.
We swallowed the citrus-colored summer
like gingerbread and lemonade.
For the girl who kissed me, my childhood friend, and my oldest sister.

— The End —