Solvent Abuse

They came back from the party

In silence,

 Entered the hotel bedroom

To find it smelling of pear drops.

Transported to the back row

Of the chemistry lab

And formulae squealing from

The plump hand of the indomitable nun.

She inhaled deeply,

Wondering how the girl

Who’d sat beside her getting high

On ethyl acetate had fared,

In life and love.


 On the low antique table,

Two wine glasses,

Smudged prints

 Of her lips on one,

Beside it, a nail polish remover pad

Like a blood-stained holy wafer.

Underneath, a pale perfect circle,

The patina of the years

Stripped back to the wood.

She ran her finger around it,

Glancing over at him,

Stretched out

On the king-size bed,

Avoiding her eye

And it came to her:

That’s what carelessness

And the passage

Of enough time will do.

~ by yearzerowriters on January 15, 2010.

14 Responses to “Solvent Abuse”

  1. Why do I see Spoon River? Just slap a person’s name as the title and you’ve just joined Mr Poe. This is very, very good, Anna.

  2. Sublime (my word for today). I love the line about the holy wafer.

    This poem gets better each time I read it.

  3. Thank you so much, Heikki. I fear there may be a Spoon River in me trying to get out. I have to say I found the Poe reference intriguing, if not a little cryptic. Can you expand?

  4. Sublime? How lovely, Larry. Thanks! So glad you love the holy wafer line. I’ve struggled to give it a context but am getting there, I think.

  5. Lovely. Haven’t seen you in ages. Welcome back!

  6. Hi, Marcella, and thanks. Good to be back.

  7. wonderful and simple.

  8. Your writing takes us back through the layers of patina in the words and the everyday life they represent, and gets to the emotion, the nub of it, the truth, Anna. Wonderful.

  9. This makes me think of my schooldays and all those things we squares thought it was really risque to sniff – like Tippex and marker pens

  10. Dazzling! I love it! The pear drops and the patina of the years. Beautiful!

  11. I love it. It evokes passion and memories.
    Anne LG

  12. Thanks, everyone, for your enthusiatic and perceptive comments. I am trying to get an anthology together and you’ve really spurred me on.

    Sabina, I’ve always appreciated wonder-evoking simplicity, in art and life

    Tricia, just what I ‘d hoped to convey

    Dan, I don’t believe you 😉 Mind you, I was the girl who argued with the druggiest girl in my year that Lucy in the Sky had nothing to do with hallucinogens.

    Sarah, glad you loved pear drops and patina of the years. Do you know I stayed in a boutique hotel in London a few weeks ago and, on top of the minibar was a jar of pear drops.

    Anne, yes passion and memory; the sense of smell is so evocative of those.

  13. […] Solvent Abuse […]

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