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Two Poems by Elizabeth Sylvia

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Open Cart

Marie Antoinette remembers

I ride

through my life

for the last time

thrown from the cell

of darkness

into the cold roar

of day



They bring me

to the square

Open cart


my shame

The crowds

will have their fill

of me

who once

appeared to them

as a vision

I still welcome

the sun’s silent eye

Death smells

only to the living

No more cut roses

in a bowl

No more child-

breath sweetening

my skin

My own death

the world’s

Rosé All Day Off Into the Sun

(after a tweet by @girl_recovery*)

When I get home from work Marie Antoinette is in the driveway

jingling her change purse of livres and gold Louis.

I can’t count her money and neither can she but while I was

ticking down the dollars at the job I know to be grateful for,

she was watching RH: Orange County, Atlanta, LA. Listen, Marie

knows we have it good here — she watches the laundry’s spinning magic

and we cut flowers in the million-year-old golden light,

but TV shows her refrigerators with glass doors that open on

a stationed corps of bottled water, chilled tumblers on the poolside patio.

Carpe drink ‘em! She wants rosé pink as a velvet hairbow,

sweet as her little daughter’s breath. Wine at the island is a telescope

lens of the immediate moment. All the anger is room-sized, all the targets

are in reach. Marie likes a pretty label, picks her bottles for a close-up

shot so she can guzzle Velvet Ribbon, Daughter Breath, Do not remind me

every day is a blister in this necklace of a lifetime.

*Mommy wine culture is a scam. It’s not cute. It’s another effective attempt to subdue or annihilate women. Rose all day off into the sun — @girl_recovery

Elizabeth Sylvia is the author of None But Witches: Poems on Shakespeare’s Women, winner of the 2021 3 Mile Harbor Press Book Prize and a Small Press Distribution bestseller. She has been a semi- or finalist in competitions sponsored by DIAGRAM, 30 West, and Wolfson Press and her poems have been published in over 30 different literary magazines. She is a reader for SWWIM Every Day.

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