Marla Deschenes and Connie Begg


Connie Begg

Inspiration Piece


by Marla Deschenes

Response Piece

I stood there in that room – the shadows and the light play their games of chase
Scurrying harried over the peeling, crackling painted walls
Our colors giving way
To the colors of those that came before us
All those colors we tried to hide
Crumbling, peeling
Cracking and bending
Moving slowly across the wall
At the speed of that water
Swirling down the crooked drain.

We lived here once – your posters and pictures making obstacles for the light
Your shoes always inexplicably under the random sink in the little room
Our bed but a mattress and box spring so carelessly tossed on the floor
We didn’t need the confines of a bed frame in the long langid laziness of that railroad apartment
Littered with magazines and cat hair and wet foot prints left behind
On the trek from the clawfoot tub
To the seeming safety of your arms
Where I could be as fucked up as possible
And still be surrounded by
Your welcoming flesh
And the sleeping murmur of the kittens.

It was my fault we left this place when I was lured away by the promise of fame
Of fortune and nights of glittered dreams
Never stopping once in our flight to pay the proper homage
To the place where our love decided to stay.
The peeling paint and cracked floors missing so many tiles
Missing the softness of our patterned, crazy rugs
That once padded our feet
As we swirled and danced like children in the moonlight
To the music from the bar across the street.
We left that love here
And I became the liar
As you became the cheat.

It all fell apart so slowly
Starting from the moment we shut the door of our own place
And let that city suck us in.
Suck you back into the worst of patterns
And suck me back into the reality
That I needed more help than even you could give me
I knew from the start you could never love me enough to make me act right
I was broken
Never wanted to be the reason your eyes went dark
And decided that being the victim was a easier lie for you to swallow
Than the truth that I was nothing special
Nothing more
Than a damaged little girl.
I pressed my hands into the cool surface of that sink
The night we fought with colder words over things long forgotten
Voices howling in the night to be heard
Your exit the slamming front door s
So hard I heard the wine glasses rattle in the bar
Of the restaurant alive with commerce below.
Tears streaming from my eyes, I gripped that sink
And looked into the once clear mirror
To try to see why the battle always had to be waged
In the wake of streams of tears.
Trying to see if the woman I knew I was
Was the one looking back from the glass.
Through the blurred salty vision
Of a woman newly wronged
I stopped to peer out the bedroom window
The street filled with the expected nightlife
Of that promising college town.

There you stood under the street light
Your face turned upward to our window
The Romeo to my forlorn Juliet
Bathed in the sheen of that summer humid night
And the knowing of my habits.
My heart raced as a smile crept across your face
I flew from the door to the stairs to the sidewalk
Dodging passerby to be safe in your arms again
To be ensnared in the love that would eventually break us both.

Maybe I never should have written those notes
And shoved them like a school girl into your old world style mailbox.
Maybe I never should have let you love me
Let you in, let you kiss me
That night on the couch at the gay bar
As the music pulsed seemingly in time to every drag queens grandest movement
And the pounding of my heart.
But we crossed that line
We went down that road
And the sink bore witness, huddled in that corner of the little room
Where I stand now, surrounded by the ghosts of our memories
And little more
Than the peeling paint matching the layers of myself I left behind
In my escape
From your love.

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