8 March 2009 | Vol. 9, No. 1

After Party

Pigment lingers

in the weave of thick paper,

the dusty blood ring

of the wineglass.

The kiss-traced napkins

tossed in piles

like the wrappings of secrets,

disappointingly empty.

Ashes trenched

in the music shelf

have slipped through

the white keys, bedded in whorls

of someone else's skin;

passed on.

Words leave no residue.

She can't read their smeared

insistence on the table, dissolute traces

seeping deep in the carpet,

whispers and praises,

conversational treachery.

How little we can know

of each other.

She stacks the plates,

brushes away

the dew gathered

under an abandoned cup.

It dries slowly

on her blank palm.

About the author:

Jacqueline West's work has appeared in journals including St. Ann's Review, Inkwell, Briar Cliff Review, flashquake, Barnwood, and the Pedestal Magazine. Her chapbook, Cherma, is forthcoming from Parallel Press. More about her work can be found at www.jacquelinewest.net.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 9, No. 1, where "After Party" ran on March 8, 2009. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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