Here I am, a thinly veiled excuse,

piety prettied in a party dress,

a child bride among child brides.

Doe-eyed at the window, itself a doe’s eye,

rimmed with cold grey velvet stone.

The wafer tastes like nothing I’ve known.

White patent shatters the robin’s shell.

Spring unhatched from hurt pastel.


One more spring. Damned dried everlastings

clustered in The Storefront of Lost Things.

Windows grimly veiled with lace.

My tongue’s perfect recall of your taste.

Street grit. The zippered gleam of my high-

heeled boots, the reflection in my drink-bright eyes.

Oh, the velvet rub of that ribboned frock.

A white flocked dress that strayed from the flock.




With you, the dawning awareness at dusk

of chalcedony, chrysoprase,


in the pendant your cheekbone brushed aside

as you kissed down to my left breast’s swerve.


The opalescent film on the window:

adularescence by day—yearn from blue to grey.


Our anywhere room: hotel in Singapore, house in Thunder Bay,

boathouse on the moon. Disambiguated


saltwater pearl under my tongue.

Pink and blue eyeshadow sky


led to chatoyancy by night:

the black cat’s eye, blackout flashlight.


Kateri Lanthier
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