Tag Archives: Suzanne Langlois

The Wheel of Fortune
by Suzanne Langlois

is flat and I don’t have a jack
or a tire iron, or a clue how to use
one except maybe to kill a man

but it keeps spinning anyway
all wobbly and with that thwump
thwump of a thing that should
be round but isn’t

and the people passing me
are gesturing wildly out
their windows and I just
wave back

gripping the wheel like the stem
of a wine glass or a penis I don’t
know how to operate, and I’d like
to buy a vowel

whichever one will allow me
the longest uninterrupted scream
I’d like to spin again and again
until it’s time to go back

to my dressing room, wipe off
my eyebrows, shuck this girdle,
and pour a glass of whatever will
blur the letters

into a puddle of spilled ambition,
and think about how I got here,
what series of accidents led
to these high heels,

this vacant smile, this shiny
new car spinning on its lazy Susan,
glittering and depreciating
by the second,

its hubcaps gleaming under
the studio lights, begging
take me, take me, I am yours
for the taking

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 2.

Suzanne LangloisSuzanne Langlois lives in Portland, Maine, where she teaches high school English. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fourth River, Rust + Moth, DeLuge, Off the Coast, Rattle, and Menacing Hedge. Her work has also been featured on the Button Poetry Channel.

See all items about Suzanne Langlois

Visit Suzanne Langlois’s contributors page.

Cider Press Review Volume 19, Issue 3 is Now Online

Indulge in poems by Kelly Cressio-Moeller, Devon Miller-Duggan, Alice B. Fogel, Mary Moore, Tim Miller, Kelly Lenox, Kathryn Merwin, Simon Anton Niño Diego Baena, Katie Riley, Gail DiMaggio, Diana Gordon, Suzanne Langlois, Eve Linn, Elizabeth Paul, and Avery M. Guess. New book reviews of A Provisional Map of the Lost Continent, by Gregory Mahrer (reviewed by Gwynn O’Gara) and Illusion of an Overwhelm by Jon Amen, (reviewed by Erica Goss).

Cider Press Review Volume 19, Issue 3

Closing Time
by Suzanne Langlois

It is the hour when the night curdles—
milk poured into a glass of merlot.
All the beautiful options of two drinks ago
have congealed into something that tastes
less good than it looks, and no longer
looks particularly good. An hour ago,
I was trying on other people’s lips
like expensive shoes, imagining
how they would feel on my cheek,
and it seemed that any pair here might fit
me perfectly—I might wear any of them
home. Now, I’m the sort of water
you only swallow in a drought, dousing
for a mouth that’s full of sand.

The bartender drums his fingers
on the bar top. If we don’t leave soon,
he’ll turn on the bright lights and
we’ll all have to see our disappointing
selves blazing in the mirror behind
the tiered liquor bottles and none of us
want to see ourselves in the mirror.
Under the blur of bourbon, my smile
feels like a locket with a secret inside,
but in the light it will smear into something
you might find folded in a napkin.

We are all blind with our eyes closed,
so quick, let’s become clumsy enough
to bump into someone and pretend
it was a mistake. My mouth is an orchard
of regrets just waiting to be picked.
Quick, the door to the past is fused shut,
and the door to the future is closing,
It’s almost midnight—if we go to bed
now, I still won’t get enough sleep,
and I’ll only be older in the morning.

It is the hour when we make our worst
decisions and all our best bad decisions
are already behind us and this is not
just a time of night, it is a time of life.
There is no bartender and there is no bar
and no amount of coffee will silence
the clanging bell of wake up, wake up—
you are late again.
 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 3.

Suzanne LangloisSuzanne Langlois lives in Portland, Maine, where she teaches high school English. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fourth River, Rust + Moth, DeLuge, Off the Coast, Rattle, and Menacing Hedge. Her work has also been featured on the Button Poetry Channel.

See all items about Suzanne Langlois

Visit Suzanne Langlois’s contributors page.