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Leigh Everhart Mar 2020
It’s sweet like whiskey,
the aftertaste of your divorce,
and you force yourself to keep wearing lipstick
like the magazines tell you to.
Someday (you hope) soon, you’ll feel brand new.
It’s all just a second act, really,
and that jam-packed, steely feeling at
the bottom of your
sentences is meant to be discarded,
dug apart, and left unmentioned.
The phonebooths all hug in on themselves,
shrugging against the rain
when you pass by,
and the sky is always a schizophrenic grey
these days, clouds marching away
to an unpromising horizon.
You phone once,
after the papers have been signed,
to hear the sound of a newly parallel life
on a recorded track
to hear that voice one last time
telling you they’ll call you back.
Leigh Everhart Mar 2020
She wanders at the edge of her existence,
her mind long overgrown with wild nettles.
Her heart’s lost in an opalescent distance

where the moon spins into cobwebs as she listens.
Her heart beats like a war drum, then resettles.
She wanders at the edge of her existence

and stumbles on a winding path that glistens
with blooming garden beds and bleeding petals.
Her heart’s lost in an opalescent distance

to reach a rose-gold sun that slowly christens
the day into a burst of blues and metals.
She wanders at the edge of her existence,

the willows bowing at the sun’s insistence.
While waiting to see where the shadow settles,
her heart’s lost in an opalescent distance.

She recites epics to her heart, but if it listens,
it remains concealed among the moss and nettles.
She wanders at the edge of her existence,
her heart lost in an opalescent distance.
Leigh Everhart Mar 2020
princesses made of freckles, wild nettles, vitamin C
strawberry-preserve smiles, backdoor-screen
dreams, pockets full of pencils and pink jellybean
lip gloss, wearing summer and skinned knees
these types of princesses don’t practice their lives
in stone-and-mortar towers. they take dives
into lake-blue unknowns, sunflower skies,
break their falls on vanilla sunrises.
these types of princesses only build their
castles made of tarpaulin and filled
with oak-tree pillars and moons that tilt
into the soft iridescence of rose-gold winters.
these types of princesses conquer backyards.
these types of princesses catch falling stars.
Leigh Everhart Mar 2020
she awakes.
her ballerina toes are poised, her nose is scrunched -
she is – what’s the word – alive.
her powder fingertips crease mechanically like a hydraulic press.
she has a beating chest with the calibration of cast iron.
her feet can climb Mount Olympus and higher.
she is limber.
she is – what’s the word – living.
her name is –
her skin has the swirl of a gleaming cantilever.
her head teeters.
she is speechless.
her lips are soft, her hands touch her face like it is a monument,
like she is a strawman.
is she a –
her spine has a curve, she can bend into geometric shapes, her arms are straight
but they encircle her.
he whispers her name to her.
or maybe he names her.  
she can choose a name herself, maybe.
she is – what’s the word – a woman.
her hair can swim through the air, her curls have strands that brush her cheeks
and her cheeks can color in the blank space left behind
by words.
galatea, she whispers.
her tongue clambers in her mouth, for some purchase,
for some worthy noise.
she searches herself for a – what’s the word – idea.
you are mine, galatea, he says. i made you.
do not be afraid. i will bathe you, dress you, anoint you.
i will worship you, and i will save you.
he caresses her hand.
her palms are dry as sandpaper.
she is – what’s the word –
her eyes have the shutter frequency of a lens.
she bends.
she is awake.
she does not remember a before.
she does not remember a maker.
she hasn’t yet made any mistakes.
her name is galatea
but she is no longer milk-white.
he says, you are my wife.
she says, i am alive.
he says, i gave you life.
she says, yes, you are right.
you gave me life,
and i won’t return it
because you gave it,
because it’s mine.
Leigh Everhart Mar 2020
"'I am half-sick of shadows,' said the Lady of Shalott."
-Lord Alfred Tennyson
…but half of her bends towards them,
these whispered tableaus, her spine tilting backward.
She carefully hordes them
like granules of opal. Her hands become lacquered
in half-dreams and dyes,
and her tapestry spins into colors so rich
even she is surprised
that her fingers have laced every cross, every stitch.
She is sick of half-shadows;
she wants the thick darkness to drown her whole essence.
These sparkles and dayglows
will stir her to madness in milky-white crescents,
and she will sink into nothing
without any name on the heirlooms she weaves;
She will fade into nothing,
and no shadows will weep on the day that she leaves.
that line in Lady of Shalott always stirred something in me; I suppose this is my attempt at a tribute
Leigh Everhart Mar 2020
God scans through the texts of Tolstoy
For the secrets of the universe
While the archangels at the table
Dispute loudly, who is worse –
Was it Van Gogh, or Picasso?

“I was far worse than both of them!”
Says a self-righteous Mozart
While Beethoven starts spitting.
“Oh, don’t you two start!”

Warns a tipsy-stern Gabriel
From behind a tall lager
While Plato scrawls circles
Like a half-a-dime auger.

“Silence!” God booms,
Though his eyes are quivering
With unshed tears,
And Dickinson is shivering
With the draft of early evening.

St. Peter is resting,
Feet propped on a chair,
Before returning to his post,
And God lets them all stay there

By his side as he thumbs
Through War and Peace’s last pages
While the fire burns low
And the storm outside rages.

Wilde laughs uproariously
At the news while he cooks.
“How was it?” Michael asks
As God closes the book.
God takes a moment
Before his answer, confessing,
“It wasn’t too bad, I think,
But far too depressing.”
Leigh Everhart Mar 2020
She is prone to bouts of hysteria.
She smokes on her front porch, eyes fixed on the drawling, dipping sun,
kicking at clumps of her wisterias.
She is getting hysterical. She is waiting for a miracle.
It finally arrives. She signs for it, waves off the deliveryman who offers to help bring it inside.
“Never mind,” she mutters to herself, to her future self, lugs it in, box and all, across the threshold,
old cigarette tossed forgotten by the road.
She unpacks it, checks for cracks, dusts it off, brushes down the Styrofoam packs.
“Hmm,” she hums, thumbs brushing across her forearms. Her fingers drum against the table.
Finally, she sets it on her mantle. She tilts her head left and right –
Maybe it’s the light. Maybe it’s the angle.
It’s the furniture, she decides. It doesn’t match, it clashes terribly. There’s really nothing she can do about it, there isn’t anything to be done.
She picks it up once again, looks it over, sighing deeply. She never keeps her receipts, never really returns anything, but with this – she’ll admit that she’s sincerely disappointed.
And she’s disjointed, she wants a Camel. She is certain the enamel of her two front teeth has started chipping, and then suddenly her miracle is slipping, tipping down out of her hands,
and there’s no way she can stop it
dropping down onto her tile, cracking out in violent pinwheels
smashing cleanly into a pile of useless shards on hard ceramic
and she can feel the teardrops starting; she doesn’t think that she can stand it –
because her miracle was precious;
because she thinks she would have kept it.
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