louise carter

A glowering coal buried beneath a log,
burrowing hotly inward, a soldering iron
finding its way through metal; an inevitable
trajectory. Further along the coil, a coin
is thrown into a volcano; she wishes
for oblivion.

Between his eyes, the knowledge of his death –
a flick knife thrust between his shoulders,
tip nuzzling his heart. Jousting partners,
swords bent to breaking, aquiver
with indecision.

The ogre, truculent, brow swollen,
salmon flesh pink, aghast
at his weakness; the orgasm escapes
his grip.

Seawater tossed across a bed
of broken seashells, foam licking
the muddy earth, seeping
below the surface.

Like children repenting, heads lowered
with the first taste of grief – we crawl
to our respective corners, and sleep.


Sun-white acidic, the morning
records on cassette tape already warped
  and crinkled, the mendacity
of nostalgia written into
                        the experience.

  Satori in the drive-thru, greaseproof wrappers
on the dashboard; his jovial defiance, calm
as an old peasant, tranquil
   as morphine.

A time capsule with a hatch-back, outside of which
                              nothing matters, no matter
                                         how loudly
   that niggling feeling bangs
                     its hand against
         the windshield. Softened by laughter
               like helium – a gas leak,
            desert stillness in the
          day's crux, unsupervised,
                                        an ellipsis –

until a crack breaks the seal,
     sucked air over desiccated rubber;
              he leaves her sitting in a half-empty tub
    of tepid bathwater, like mud in a sieve
                                                     stripped of gold.

more by louise carter

adventures in pain