15Before I knew myself, uttered out loud the words

labeling me a this or a that or a who knows?

I developed feelings for a wounded eye girl

we were kids really, dressing up as Japanese geisha in my room

all festooned in asian print and a little tea set I got for cheap

from china town

we wore chopsticks in our hair and bowed ceremoniously

singing the only song we knew in Japanese

with The Mikado playing in the background

I liked her thin arms and her prominent nose

her knock knee urchin look and bandaged soul

I liked how strong she was even as she looked like she’d fly away

most of all I was attracted to her wounded eyes

for there is something heady and bewitching in


and its infinite manifestations

we’d dress up, I would paint her lips scarlet, we’d put on

funny accents and roll on the floor looking up at glow stars

I still had stuck there with movie posters of vampires

she would fling her arm out across my chest,  tell me of herself

pouring out the suffering of her short life

and it was an awful life before she was

brought to this city we lived in, both from somewhere else

transplants, orphans, ghosts of ourselves with missing DNA

she would tell me of her homeland, how

her father beat her black and blue for

being a girl

why as she got older he took

each of her sisters one by one

and they didn’t come back

whole or even

well repaired

I wanted to lick the pain from her cheeks and hold her to me

until the wound healed

but nothing I could ever do would assuage

the wounds behind her dark brown eyes

so we played as little girls do

building camps and tepees and western saloons

once I played a prostitute and she a cowboy

I cocked my head, snapped a red garter and asked her;

want to have some fun soldier?

she laughed, such a lovely laugh

her black hair and coffee skin, shining with fantasy

she didn’t like being herself anymore than me

we got into our pretend saloon bed

I served her a pretend shot of whiskey

acted ‘saucy’ the way I had learned from TV

she rolled her eyes laboriously like a comedian winking

pulled up my petticoats which were real

and at one point had been my mother’s wedding dress

when she married my father, bare foot and broke

with a velvet ribbon tied around her neck

and our fingers explored each other

as we giggled and changed our voices to all the favorite

TV characters we knew

I think I even tried to be Sue Ellen

I wanted to tell her then, not to stop

to press my mouth to her pomegranate lips

touch her swelling breasts with my own lack of

run myself like a cat across her saffron skin

but even then I knew

damage makes bad bed fellows

we soon changed the game, to cops and robbers

climbing out of the window, swinging from trees

though in every story

there was an element of romance

I thought of the old shows I loved

where the actors were always

dancing around the circumference

of each others heart

how in real life sometimes they married

I told my father; Oh see! Oh see! pretend things can come real!

but some cannot

and she and I grew up

once she told me she had always known I felt like that

I blushed dark red because of course

thinking I’d been subtle when watching her changing clothes

she married a blonde haired man and moved to Australia

had a little boy and hopefully

a ceasing of her alotment of pain

because more than anything I wanted that for her

even more than the beautiful moment

of two girls

laying in sunlight

laughing at imagined things

for the rest and peace and escape

of anything real


39 Replies to “The wounded eyed girl”

  1. I feel so glad when I hear she is thriving. She was born on a knife’s edge. To believe the worst of her pain is over brings me a lot of peace and contentment. She is a really lovely human being.

  2. You have rapidly evolved from a mysterious brilliant poetess living in the wilds to one of my dearest supporters and I hope you know I think exactly the same things about YOUR work because you are stupendous and I have not used that word in a VERY long time but it seems absolutely apropo! I admire your work so much that is the true seal of approval when you read something and think damn I wish I wrote that! You must keep writing forever I am a huge fan and would do anything to help you further your natural ability and have your words shared with the world xo

  3. Beautiful words. Love this part of the verse: “. . . her knock knee urchin look and bandaged soul, I liked how strong she was even as she looked like she’d fly away, most of all I was attracted to her wounded eyes, for there is something heady and bewitching in pain . . .” ♥

  4. Thank you. It is actually too big. I feel too much. I hurt too much. I am appreciative to you my friend and I think of you often in fact today’s poem had you in mind you will see why when you read it xo

  5. Not sure I should be flattered if I am one of the rouges in your poem which I left a long message on…thank you though… we are very alike in a lot of ways Miss Feather.

  6. ‘Damage makes bad bed fellows.’ You are simply so fucking eloquent it amazes me! Sorry I’ve been absent, my eyes are being buggers. Just wanted to pop in and say how much I love your writing.

  7. “she didn’t like being herself anymore than me” those friendships, the associations where we mentor each other, they are the healers of our future selves. I know, I have one of those. This was achingly beautiful, Candice. <3

  8. Reblogged this on I Write Her and commented:
    Quality friendships are what sustain us through the difficulties of life. Candice illustrates this beautifully with this piece, and as always, so heartfelt that the words just reach in and squeeze you! <3

  9. Quality friendships are definitely what sustains us throughout the difficulties of life. Couldn’t agree more. And couldn’t ask for a better friend than you xo

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