Hayden Garside '23
I. Arranged Marriage
sometime before noon I was kidnapped
and placed hostage in a bouquet of flowers much plainer than I.
they tied our limbs
with ribbon and sentenced us to become friends.
how dare they insult my nobility.
I would rather perish
than allow those grisly weeds to tarnish my complexion.
alas, my petals wither in this unseemly prison.
I hope they bury me in lace.
II. Vanilla Cake
Biting upon the damp crumbs, a sick sweetness numbs
my tongue and stretches into
shadows of nostalgia. A cavern of desire for something more, yet perfectly content with the
delicacy of less.
Vanilla cream drowns the ridges of pink and red, mouthwatering
with a gentle touch of suffocation.
Jaws move against the wave
of glue that slithers between the crevices, ivory stained by infinite
cigarettes and coffee.
One bite left and the cake vanishes, smiles dancing in moderation with laughing faces. A slow
brush, ironed cuff tracing the
valleys that decorate my face. But cheers to the happy couple, I guess.
III. Hollow Vows
Ceremonies pale the sober
I bought white lilies at this one shop somewhere but they seemed too shallow to bring so I left
them hidden nearby in the folds of my dignity
This peaceful prayer dares not disrespect those bewitched by love Here laughter collapses into
Lost in the passing hour, I glimpsed a sparrow land upon the empty seats, blissful and oblivious,
ruffling his feathers as he marched across the glossy wooden surface
A contract ends with broken trust
Wilted flowers awaken from their strange slumber when graced by a child’s touch I fear that
wound is the book I threw into your fireplace last night
My wife–a clumsy fool of age–traded her patience for your carpet’s delight when she tumbled
over a collapsing stiletto and spilled her wine on the blouse I bought her for our
anniversary before she drunkenly announced that I was a deceitful bastard
It is not until the end that we accept defeat A simple Canon in D may lighten the mood
Nightmares of deception taunt my sunken eyes with visions of gold that burned my finger and
left scars of guilt when finally, I pulled it off and disposed of your burdening grace
Ho, a slight breeze warns the fair Clocks rewind our minutes
Bewitched by her spell, my legs began to teeter and my head fell into the hazy mush of
weightlessness, until I suddenly saw my reflection, waiting for the magic to end
You see, nothing real comes without cost