Poetry: Candice Louisa Daquin

Candice Louisa Daquin



Before you left, we made a covenant

a pact among children and time

where sand tends to smooth such ardor

few keep their word, when blood is young

maybe they’re more honest for it …

still, you returned

holding your promise like a shield

enveloping my tea-colored scars

“here” you said

“stand beneath this shelter

I will hold it up against

all that rains down”

see; some are built of permanence

whilst others shake bags of truth as

confetti collects salt in air on wedding day

who knows the divorce of passion

better than those who drive their words

through water until absolved?

You stayed like ink on my tongue

the taste of squid and salt

and in counting

I found that one suffices

to even out hurt

turn it smooth in your hand

like mending tapestries reignites lineage

you gave me strength

when I faltered, when I caved in

you were the temple upon whom I held tight

as sea swallowed us whole and bursting through

air dried us into glistening stalagmites

“hold on”

you reminded me; reaching through time

“I have always been beside you

it is the weight of truth

turning like gold spun from flax





I meant to make it all the way to Maine

Rachel Carson wasn’t silent and Spring late in coming, bowed to snowstorm

It was my intention to honor her gain by the shoreline whisky

watching puffins cast rainbow beaks into sleek feathers against whitening ravage

the airline didn’t clean their luncheon trays, or provide succor for thin air

even liquid diets can give you Noro viruses if they’re in the mood …

I didn’t make it to Maine, head down a witches bowl beset the route

Salem, swallowed me whole

all the girls I didn’t know, made rings around my posy

black eyed tobacco doll, the compassionate Russian doctor at the Ready Clinic

gave me a yellow bottle, not the best color choice, to keep from retching

She said; “spend your thirties on a cruise ship, I fell in love with the ocean and lonely women casting their nets,”

she gave me a deep wink, collegial and far from coy; who knew? Tucked in CVS lay friends of Dorothy?

In truth it was the itinerary of a coward

seeking impossible retreat

for she who doesn’t like socializing, will never marry and make content a popularist

or name a pond, or build a thatch or blow down tindered hearts, like a stale match

when reluctance bids you leave the party for a long-wounded road

made cold with first snow, faintly storing fantasy

of Maine and the green and the green and the green.




There were no shotguns

no contraception necessary

the sterile marriage was secret

rushed through with hands in front of mouths

to spare the blush of court-house staff

unaccustomed to women without men

they looked down, as if crestfallen were an art

it was fortunate I had not enough time to purchase

a dress of artichoke hearts

for it had always been my desire

to marry barefoot with knives in my hair

carrying your child to the altar

squirming in my mosaic belly

this didn’t come to pass

squinting down lashed road

I see where I dropped myself

in the desert without my shoes

like old coinage without power of purchase

I watched the purple sky, reduce in cold boil

until amber filled horizon like hot honey

night creatures stirred without sight

I didn’t have a way back

I didn’t have a way forward

this was my dowry

the sand blowing without mercy

scratching at the door.

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