Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri- Two Poems

She was the other woman
with cleavage-neckline of bulging breasts
packed into a double “D;” teased
hair, a blonde bee-hive; swinging
from each ear - crystal chandeliers. 
Onyx big as coal on her stuck up pinky.
Cigarette dangling, its burning glows
between ringed diamonds, emeralds, rubies
large as ice cubes floating face down
in a cold long-stemmed drink that
fingernails lacquered in blood-red
curled around the neck of.
All she had to do was keep her watch
synchronized with his, decorate
his black-suited arm.  “His”
whenever he wanted to.  Her reward –
dresses, jewels, plenty of money
to pay the uptown rent.  Until the day
he blew to pieces while keying his front door. 
Her eviction; sale of jewels – furs – and gold.
Last 40 years spent waitressing tables
at the local windowless bar. “Regulars”
know her fairy tale gone wrong, a reverse
Cinderella alone every midnight sweeping
and mopping up floors. Cleaning toilets. 
No Godmother or Godfather
to grant wishes, only rags and worn
canvas sneakers.  Sunken smile rotting;
eyes vacant like a left over jack-o-lantern
still around after Thanksgiving.
He swung me by my
 tits around the room
unitl I was dizzy
then ripped out my vagina
three times
my nerves stood at attention
electrified by fear
I almost crossed the street into
snapped out - Darkness
an extra inch and my mind may have…
Tears tired out my pillow
hibernating under blankets
wrapped in a safe cocoon
until he’d strip me bare
I walked like a zombie for days
my flesh eaten
my blood drank
venom heated my veins
to boiling blue levels – that is when
I learned the definition of hate
After fifteen years
I hung the dirty laundry on the line
no longer cared if neighbors saw stains
dirty underwear
I wanted to leave
the children
always my cherubs
fluttered their innocent wings
holding my heart
their dazzling white forgiveness
untainted love.
I threw all clutter
into a bin
got rid of bag after bag
of trash.
Rearranged nine pairs
of his leather shoes,
hockey slippers,
“new balance” sneakers
that I had tripped over
most of my married life
I dusted
lifting thick layers,
polished tear-stained wood
to a lemon-oil sheen,
Windex-ed dull-gray grime
from my reflection,
wiped the paint clean
where raging words
soiled silent walls,
mopped behind his “mule chest”,
and vacuumed the carpet fresh.
I pried open the nailed-shut
windows and removed the storm-
glass pane, replacing
shiny silver-screens -
April’s scented breezes
blew clean through their
When darkness fell, again
he closed the blinds
tight; drew the drapes.
 He mounted his bitch
like a dog
entering from behind.

First appeared as “Wedlock.” Poetry Ink. Philadelphia: Moonstone, Inc. 2008. 17. Print.
Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian, whose  first full-length collection of poetry, Images of Being, ( publishing) was released October 2011.  Recipient of the AEV Grant for Poetry in 2013. Currently Poet in Residence at Ryerss Museum and Library. She can be found at

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