Sharpened Razor Tongue

She always arrives late, twittering,
apologies wrapped in a high-pitched parcel.
Slithering to the head of the table,
she places herself at the helm of the evening,
wrists splayed like bird bones across the arms of the chair.
She demands a drink and commandeers the spotlight.

With a brutal jaw, she grinds and bares her teeth,
sharpened razor tongue, ready for battle.
She spits insults into the room,
blades masked by the pretense of good intentions,
a pungent scent of ridicule lingering in hateful laughter.
Her scalpel unravels the delicately stitched
patchwork of my confidence.

The evening crawls on heavy knees.
Cruel barbs stretch to the corners of the room,
smothering the walls in a trill of conceit.
She picks at her food, cutting meat into slivers
she places furtively into her mouth,
while announcing she is too full to eat another bite.
She has no problem drinking all my wine.

Her attack wanes in the thickened speech
of too much booze, but she can’t resist
leaving me with one last wound.
Staggering at the door, she leans in to kiss the air
next to my cheek, and in a thin- lipped whisper,
lacquered with a tincture of disappointment,
tells me I could be attractive
if I wasn’t so fat.
Her words leave scars in the back of my throat.



Susan Richardson lives and writes in Los Angeles. In addition to poetry, she writes a blog called, Stories from the Edge of Blindness. Her work has been published in Barren Magazine, Rust + Moth, Foxglove Journal, Amaryllis, The Writing Disorder, Eunoia Review, Dodging the Rain, and Burning House Press, among others. She was awarded the Sheila – Na – Gig 2017 Winter Poetry Prize, featured in the Literary Juice Q&A Series, and chosen as the Ink Sweat & Tears March 2018 Poet of the Month. Her poetry has also been nominated for Best of the Net.