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"The Gaze as She Leaves the Country Club’s Annual Cocktail Party" Adele Evershed

The Gaze as She Leaves the Country Club’s Annual Cocktail Party

They want you to think you’re aggressive or even a little hysterical

But your womb was removed when they found a blossom-end rot

They want you to smile because it might never happen

But of course you know it already has

They want you to starve yourself and act like Martha Stewart

But store bought brownies get eaten first while yours are left to molder in the tin

They want you to freeze your face and plump your lips

But then you’d look like artificial intelligence or a Nicole Kidman wannabe

They don’t want your opinion or to hear you say the ‘c’ word

And they definitely don’t want you to talk about misplacing your orgasm

So you took stock over a plate of canapés

And after eating five you still felt empty

But you knew—you were not aggressive

You are assertive (and at this age there are so many worse things you could be)

On Twitter someone posted about speaking from the scar not the wound

And people (mostly men) asked—but what does that mean?

You wanted to add an eye roll emoji as wasn’t it obvious

A wound is too raw, like licked lips in a bitter wind

But a scar is raised and hard and a constant reminder you survived

So the next time a man (and it was always a man)

Told you to calm down—relax

You roused a riot in your throat

And baring your scarred chest

You told him to suck your tattooed nipple

And as you left the club to drive to the all night diner

You conceded—after two decades of dieting

Maybe you were a little hangry

Contemplating your usual omelet

You knew you no longer wanted this egg white life

So you ordered the lumberjack pancakes with extra bacon

And before you even took a bite

You were suddenly full up

Imagining The Taste of Longing

Imagine a person is a hotel / not the four seasons / more like a quick roadside stop-over / waiting for the key in the door / wondering if a bedroom servicing will be ordered / or if a sometimes husband will prefer the mini bar

In the dark / you require redemption / but find only the devil / burning hearts / so you order a door dashing hero / not caring Taco Bell fry the peppers in the oil from the meat / your life was always about cross contamination

Imagine a lifetime of cravings / pretending your marriage was a cheesy roll up of days / even when he sang that Springsteen song / about you not being a beauty / and you found yourself / believing it

And when he leaves / you find / you don’t mind / as for the longest time you’ve only found a Cinnabon delightful / and you can get your cravings filled online / giddy that you get rewarded just for ordering

Imagine a restaurant with two health warnings / like the devil’s diner / abandon your waistlines / all who enter / tapping your fingers / to the rain / inside yourself / how can you care / who the bell tolls for / when it’s taco Tuesday every day

Adele Evershed was born in Wales and now lives in Connecticut. Her prose and poetry have been published in over a hundred journals and anthologies. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net for poetry, and her first poetry chapbook, Turbulence in Small Places will be published next year by Finishing Line Press.

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