Home > Contributors > Lauren Francis Evans > Candice Kelsey

Candice Kelsey responds to Lauren Frances Evans

Sphincter Law 3.jpg 

Daughter's Lament

                                                
I’m just a blue print
spread across the drafting table
like warm butter

 

only I do not melt under
your heavy stone palms pressing
my corners.

 

Your red pencil a sun dial
ready to cast shadows on my body
this body which is paper
to you,
mere plans offered
and nothing more.

 

Not daughter but design made –

 

A shade
between Turnbell and Prussian
blue dayflower petals
tiny cradles:

 

these lines are my mask
careful measurements
my song.

 

Negatives
of the original, ultraviolet light
my mother and father.

 

I am not easily altered
the scales unreliable.
My skin at times
brittle

 

ink soaked once
the excess has washed away.

 

I see what you want to erect.

 

That wrought iron vane appearing
through the bay window
plate glass

 

some terrible steel sash.

 

The brick corbels are set
on the right side
to hide wooden lintels
breathing
the tower cornice.

 

But you must suit your lot
improve the aesthetics.
Birth lean symmetry
reduce this thigh and that
lengthen then pull to
add more here.

 

Elbow the workers
to look my way my sashay
of hips
you taught me to offer
hips
that met the morning with a bruise.

 

Unlike my attackers
please
roll me up gently
swaddled by some thick rubber band
cylinder coffin click
when your pencil is dull
your corrections complete.

 

When you realize
this monument to you will never be built
stand in the mirror
unroll your face
find a favorite lipstick

and slash.

 

All Responses:

Respond to a Prompt:

Submit your response to our current prompt(s). See our Submissions Guidelines page for details.

CANDICE KELSEY's poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, Hobart Pulp, and Wilderness House--and her work has been incorporated into multiple 3-D art installations. A high-school English teacher of 18 years' standing, she lives in Los Angeles and serves as a fiction reader for The New England Review. 

All Responses:

Respond to a Prompt:

Submit your response to our current prompt(s). See our Submissions Guidelines page for details.

CANDICE KELSEY's poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, Hobart Pulp, and Wilderness House--and her work has been incorporated into multiple 3-D art installations. A high-school English teacher of 18 years' standing, she lives in Los Angeles and serves as a fiction reader for The New England Review.