Three poems by Susan Richardson

Condition of My Heart

Over months of unfurling secrets,
and trying to decipher the chill in your gaze,
the threads of deceit snap me in two and
change the condition of my heart.
I stitch myself into a mantle of chastity,
keeping myself numb to the pleasure
of your touch, but through the reverie of 3 a.m.,
your fingers bring my body back to life.
Desire burns emotions.
I fall into the familiar scent of your skin,
doubt collapsing beneath the heat of your eyes.
We are a rage of fire and forgetfulness,
until time resumes its bitter pulse.
We exhale, and the room turns to ice.
I pull a heavy cloak of resentment
over my shoulders, and step out into the day.
Without my conscience.  Without my heart.


Stiff Trigger

If I used a razor, I would warm the blade,
delighting in the comfort of tepid steel,
and watch life pool in crevices on the floor.

If I took pills, I’d lay them across my palm,
sacrament for a wanting tongue,
penance doused in bitterness,
tugging on my eyelids with welcome force.
If I used a gun, it would be an antique,
with gilded barrels and a stiff trigger,
a relic of ravaged lives held gently to my lips.


Your Promises are Collapsible

I sit in a locked car, wading through the
gravel of my nerves, skin prickling with caffeine.
Your betrayal is spread out across the dashboard,
photos of you sneaking into a cheap motel at
lunchtime, hidden behind the door of room#5,
caressing much younger skin than mine.
The stench of infidelity clutters the floor.
Chasing off rage with packs of cigarettes,
I inhale the hours, alight on the precipice of
catching you in the guileful arms of your secret.
Your promises may be collapsible, but so are mine.
My heart has succumbed to the taste of deceit.
I spread myself thin under your lies,
waiting patiently for you to slip into the deluge.


Susan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Los Angeles. She shares a home with an Irishman, 2 pugs and 2 cats. She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2002, and in addition to poetry, she writes a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness.  Her work has been published in: Stepping Stones Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Furious Gazelle, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Foxglove Journal, Literary Juice, Sick Lit Magazine, Amaryllis, and The Anapest Journal, with pieces forthcoming in Eunoia Review.  She was also awarded the Sheila-Na-Gig Winter Poetry Prize and will be featured in the Literary Juice 2018 Q&A Series.


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