Volume 2, Issue 5    |    ISSN: 1941-2908
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Bluebeard's Honeymoon

by JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT






          When he has rouged her cheeks into submission,
          startled her black hair with pearls,
          cinched her waist
          'til she curved into a petal.
          When he has done all this he smiles,
          rests his hands,
          proclaims her wife
          as he has done so many times
          that bridal superstitions seem no more
          than the white tulle he drapes over her head;
          shift of silk, whisper of petticoats
            —          as if she were already telling lies.

          When limbs have wound like coral snakes,
          lips bruised into peonies
          and red wine soured in an open flask
          he draws a line between her swollen breasts,
          sighs a little,
          gives his keys
          as he has done so many times
          he no longer knows what doors they open
          anymore than he can number the betrayals.
          The ring is cold, they rattle like the bone yard
          the smallest gold one gleaming on its chain.

          It is chess,
          en passant, fool's mate:
          ride three red days from his engorged palace,
          turn, spur back;
          all business of ships and vassalage
          put on then off as easily as masks.
          He whips himself through mud and blisters
          breath fractured, blue hair twisted into night.
          God knows, he craves it more than water now,
          that spill of unspoiled veil,
          eyes blue with truth as she returns his trust,
          her lips spread flush as gardens, waiting,
          not a drop of blood in sight.

          Oh God, he wants her
          steadfast blush
          and downcast
          perfection.

          When he lays her out,
          maps her breathing,
          silences her welcomes with that need
          until they shake,
          when he has done all this
          he turns,
          lies against her
          as he has done so many times
          he can hardly raise his head to look

          as her lips spread
          to speak his fate.










JoSelle Vanderhooft is the author of several poetry collections, including The Minotaur's Last Letter to His Mother (Ash Phoenix), Ossuary (Sam's Dot Publishing), Desert Songs (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2008), Tales Twice Told (Sam's Dot Publishing, 2008) and Death Masks (Papaveria Press, 2008), the novels The Tale of the Miller's Daughter (Papaveria Press) and Owl Skin (Papaveria Press, 2008) and a collection of short stories from Drollerie Press to be released in 2008. Her poetry and fiction has appeared online and in print in a number of publications, including Cabinet des Fees, Star*Line, Mythic Delirium, Mythic, Jabberwocky, The Seventh Quarry and several others.




copyright © 2008, JoSelle Vanderhooft














      CONTENTS

     

      FICTION


      —Identified: Musings (Attributed to Mardun T.)

TOIYA KRISTEN FINLEY

      —Mr. Water Bones and His Wife

PAUL JESSUP

      —The Writing's on the Wall

MATTHEW KRESSEL

      —Praise and Criticism for M. Rekling's The Bottle

ALEX DALLY MACFARLANE

      —Between the Lines

JONATHAN WOOD

     

      POETRY


      —Narrowing Silhouettes

NANETTE RAYMAN RIVERA

      —The Birth of Bluebeard

JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT

      —Bluebeard Searches for a Bottle

JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT

      —Bluebeard's Honeymoon

JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT

     

      NONFICTION


      —Interview: Duncan MacLean

KRYSTAL HART

     

      SERIAL


      —A Self Help Guide for the Last Few Zero Years [1]

DOUGLAS LAIN

      —The Letter

MARK TEPPO

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