We work to earn, but Hal e Ward wonders what it’s costing us.
Writing by Hal e Ward
Art by Charlie Cole
Domesticated Honey Dreams of Takeout
I have put polish to the silver,
conditioned each piece
Have pressed the napkins
white with white embroidered
seashells, have mended with
needle thread and thimble
the Battenberg tablecloth.
I’ve passed endless solitary nights
with the hot iron, the steam bottle.
wind-ravaged branches beating
a song for me on the window:
Launder, Starch, Launder, Starch
The chemicals that prickle the fine hair
in my nose haunt my sleep
For now I will put from my mind
what they have wreaked in me
Dreams of inky kitchen sink water
rich opalescent suds like clotted cream
Weary and cankled from the hours
of preparation, I uncork the drain plug
turn loose this poison vat to contaminate
some other young woman’s home
Where hands should emerge:
pulpy corroded stubs, sloughing
weepy waterlogged bits, in the anemic pink
of peonies, down the disposal
I have laid and relaid my table in all its finery
scoured the bloodstains from all the linens
plucked old gristle from the tines. Look how shiny
the Limoges, lovely little flecks of gold
for service à la russe, the wicks trimmed
the wine capsule scored, and the first guest
buzzes up My eyes catch on that ugly
blackened portal in the corner
from which no light comes, nor heat, nor smell
and I realize I forgot to cook.
About the Author
Hal e. Ward dreams of one day becoming so obsolete that when someone asks have you been living under a rock, they can stick out their forked tongue and reply honestly: yessssssssss.
About the Artist
Charlie Cole is the product of a town no one has ever heard of which, of course, means she gravitated toward creating stories to match her dreams of escape. When she is not writing she can be found vomiting out pop culture diatribes and trying to make friends with the bats in the belfry of her mind. Proud advocate for mental health, queer identity, and neurodivergency.
Leave a Reply