Sheila-Na-Gig online

Poetry

Susan Richardson

SusanRichardsonSusan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Los Angeles.  In addition to poetry, she writes a blog called, Stories from the Edge of Blindness. Her work has been published in Foxglove Journal, Amaryllis, The Writing Disorder and Eunoia Review, among others.  She was awarded the Sheila–Na–Gig online 2017 Winter Poetry Prize, featured in the Literary Juice Q&A Series, and chosen as the Ink Sweat & Tears March 2018 Poet of the Month.  She also writes for the Arts and Lit Collective, Morality Park.

The Edges of my Eyes

I remember the first time you took me
by the throat, the whisper of your handprint
filling the edges of my eyes with darkness.
Shadows became vines that twisted
around the contours of trees and pulled
the sidewalk into the chasm of your grip.
Fear tumbled like gravel from my teeth.
A cloak of ravens enveloped me and tore
the breath from my tongue, trapping me
with talons stitched from imminent nightfall.
Through shapes of quiet etched into the blackness,
a prickle of wind crept up my neck and pushed
me to search for cracks in the lacquer.
I followed slivers of light beaconing off the lip
of a streetlamp, heart pumping flight into my limbs,
as I ran from the threat of blindness.

Recovering from Hangovers

The night fades into a tangle of shame,
a taste of stale liquor lingering in the mouth of regret.
I chain the door, a barrier against indiscretions
I won’t remember in the morning.
Contemplating the room through distorted vision,
I stumble over a pile of mismatched shoes,
eyes fixed on a bottle of whiskey that waits
patiently next to a sink filled with shot glasses.
I am too drunk to make it to the kitchen.
My feet ache from years in stilettos and struggling
to stand upright under the fist of addiction.
I sway and fall, cradled by walls that weep in the glow
of a giveaway nightlight, tracing circles around
scars of loneliness that pepper the spinning room.
I crawl across cigarette burns and empty wine bottles,
pining for a flask I keep hidden under the sofa,
stained by the weight of a life spent recovering from hangovers.
I light a cigarette and swallow a shot of whiskey,
despair catching on the threads of my tongue
as relief burns my throat.
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