An Expat Sings a Song of Herself

Kandie St.Germain

I whispered slush. You chewed my ice.
 So I sank into the early burial of irises.

 You washed out spring. I gulped summer,
 cheeks bulging as I sang along

 to changing leaves. While stuck inside,
 I turned to you. Inside of you,

 old stories smelled less like ink, more like trees.
 I asked if you could imagine the small things.

 I begged you to listen to the transponder
 humming at midnight. But you couldn’t hear.

 So I ask you now to stop the rain
 so I can get to work on time.

 I fired my guardian angels.
 I’ve no room for passengers.

 The roses I stopped to smell have died
 under a leftover sky. I cooked them

 in a black pot. Their fate?
 A stew of lingerie. My neck cracks

 chiropractic from looking up too long
 at worn roots and jagged shadows.

 Leave me be. Turn off your forest music
 because I’ve my headphones in.

 I can only hear some British invasion,
 some English beats.

 Frost, your road less traveled took longer,
 and it blackened tourist toes.

 Sure, I saw herons in rice fields.
 But hawks mocked me from a fence post

 and black vultures joked about the dead
 every Sunday. So I went to London

 and let men blow smoke
 in my face. I blew it back in theirs.

 I stared down at leather uppers
 and proved echoes quack.

 There, a river boasted foul mouths—
 mandarins, mallards, and coots.

 Seems I have afterthoughts, too. But it’s a business
 watching these tulips near Buckingham

 because all those queens tiptoed off
 then stepped on a shard. You told me not to,

 but I did it anyway. I did it out of spite:
 I blinked while riding on an eye for an eye.

About the Work

Kandie St.Germain

Kandie St.Germain is the author of Closet Drama (Bear Star Press, 2001). Her work has also appeared in The Sonora Review, The Cream City Review, Rattle, Puerto del Sol, and others.

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