Princess Casino

You, my sweet, are dripping neon
from the cherry red walls of the princess casino
reducing every moment like cream swilling in a bowl,
flaming in brittle bird memory.

There I am,
banging my body against the ceiling,
flitting and losing my down,
losing arc of wing and the halcyon hour.

Come to the princess casino,
come for the fluorescent shower,
my sweet is down below, stretching his neck
to watch winter’s chaos parade in my throat

‘You look lovely tonight, darling’ his words shaped like warmth.
‘Thank you’ I say when what I mean is
            ‘I’m sorry’.

Sweet’s shoulders bobbing, the machine bells and the coins collecting, soundtrack of voices dangling, the kiss of it I would lose, the kiss dangling and left to wound, the sweetness that drips from lovers’ chins, the foreheads pressed tightly in twos and words that dissolve terraces and dining room tables across cities.

Something pulls on the cherry red walls
and I do mean red -something heavy-
I will later tell it as a scene from a film I can no longer recall the name of.

Noise envelops like a wave.
I lose nearly all of it in the end.

The image laid bare on its back
the dutiful consumption and fatal bleeding out – that is to say –
the real thing is departed and my head turns but
only in slumber.

My sweet, nothing arrived guaranteed.

Time in throat and galloping now,
my damning metaphors come to claim
all I had gathered in hand, unfurling my fingers
and I begin to cry.

‘Let’s get you home’.

You, beneath the strips of light,
looking up and smiling at me.


About the author
Danielle is a poet and short story writer from Auckland, New Zealand. Her work ruminates on ideas of youth, family, romance and loss. Currently based in Paris, she is working on her first poetry collection.