CONTESTS

Wine and Doorbells

Daggar Earnshaw

A winner of the 2011 Downtown Eastside Writers' Jamboree Writing Contest.



She was hiding in a bag of
 clothespins,
Tall as a hammered nail, and slightly
 rusty.
She was ready to hang love boutique
 panties
from the corners of her sprung
 wooden toes.
She wanted the ice. The cool of
 the clutch.
The gathering of princess possessions
in the fist of a threesome. Thirty
 fingers
thirsty to taste what she had in
 the bag.
What she was holding.


Her colouring book divorce had
 smeared past its outlines.
She felt out-of-register, like a
 Warhol portrait,
or the sardonic, oral meltdown
 of Robert Smith’s smile.
Wine and doorbells.
Something to sip on. Something
 to push.
She needed that.


Isn’t it true that a thumping tire means
 it’s deflated, flat?
She felt like that too. Obliged to carry
 the beat in rotating conversation
When what she really needed was
 emergency road repair.
Someone to fix her predicament.
Strong hands on a round of rubber.


I am forgetting my son, and the dog
 bolted to my ex-husband’s shoe.
I am sliding in woollen slippers down
 a Varathane hallway.
I am thinking of you.


Are my breasts the serious faces you
 vowed they would become?
They never smiled for you, and now
 they stick their tongues out,
Mocking you, like cherries out of
 reach on a high, fecund tree.


I suppose, someday, these mercury
 nights will seem benign as
mollusks simpering in their poisonous
 shells.
Let us crack calcium knuckles and roll
 up our sleeves.
Dig in to the armoured meat of
 underwater wombs.
Sucking them down in one, salty gulp.

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Daggar Earnshaw

Daggar Earnshaw is a writer and artist, and publisher of the periodical D.E.W.L. Exhaust (Downtown Eastside Writers League). He has served as the official Gastown Steam Clock T-shirt painter for seven years, and his work The Crown of Transpar was part of an Art of the Book exhibition at the Vancouver Public Library. He lives in Vancouver, where he was born.


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