top of page
  • Writer's picturetheperiwinklepelic

dropping the handkerchief - west ambrose

Come drink the champagne of

the sky with me

from sparkling glasses of spume; stand with


shoulders almostbumping against

mine; how do I keep a memory I’ve never made?

Whose gaze is first to avert and what does it feel like to collect smoke from

the electric current between the near miss of your fingers, the brush of hands that isn’t?

Come tell me of your monsters and I will tell you of mine; monsters we have loved and

feared and dreamt of half-awake in the contempacious dark; monsters we run from and monsters that always wait for us at the finish line no matter how good we’ve become at running; monsters that we’ve created and monsters that create us; monsters with kitchen cleavers and widening jaws, never sated and hiding in every covered mirror; monsters we have been and monsters we must inevitably learn to become; grotesque and savage and utterly

tender; come now, we can even make a picnic out of it; a picture frame, a purloined letter, a paradise drenched in laudium and blood. We can sprawl out and sink into quiet words. Come read me poetry and make fun of my small voice on a stanza; challenge my point of view, chase me around a page or a swarm of Juniper trees, let me drop the handkerchief and I will

catch you every last time the world has beaten you down to your knees.

Here is the scene; drowned moon beams, swallowed by the breath of the sea. You adjust a vest, then fidget with a ring. Your guarded laughter breaks bitter as Aronia's frostworn skin:

Go back? you’d ask, a scoff, a challenge, a love letter wrapped in disdain, a thread in an earlier conversation we dropped down the escarpment into green-grey swells. Wouldn’t that just make everything harder? How could you want to go back to a time that would have you hanged? Have you jailed and dead quicker than you can say Salomé?

Isn’t it enough to ache in the language you were born from? I’d retort. Aren’t all wounds already transgressed?

What do you know of wounds?

Everything but how to let someone tend to my own.



West Ambrose is a writer and grad student. His twitter is @westofcanon and his website is where you can find creative works inspired by antiquity and classic lit. The website,, is also the home of the Crow’s Nest and HLK Quarterly, an opportunity for the folks of many/any disciplines with interest in nautical and seaward things


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page