Gingerbread House Lit Mag

The Rusalka

I will put a fern in my hair
so you will not drown me there.

“It is not a drowning
it is to live with,” you purled
underneath the Cuyahoga River
the floorboards wet and warping
for drowning takes time.

The twilight state
the in-between hate
was life yet unlived
you are not the quiet undead.

Some emerald
some pear
a color lost
in the browns and greens
all you cannot see
brief and unconsummated.

We rode bicycles
on roads as slick as water
in the rain, you were calling my name
we went too fast
were rather smashed
a meager happiness
unpretentious in its averageness
but you were only half there.

Your hair was always wet
you never dried it even in winter
your locks would freeze
tiny icicles broke off
melting me in class.

Are you someone else
a Rusalka, perhaps?
someone not quite human
not for lack of humanity
but too much of it.

There are so many folk tales no longer told
for fear of becoming true
for knowing not what you do
but what is done to you.

I have been that girl
gone gangrene with envy
taken on that permanent hue
after too many stolen dresses
cobwebs of gossip
encouraged and encircled
green and scowling
a glinty smile having you.

If I unfocus my eyes
I can see you in your youth
your halfway plump mouth vaguely
sharpening against the erosion of memory.

I heard you were slim again
with long loose hair
but your hair had been darker then
and magnificent breasts,
it’s a shame
I didn’t pay enough attention
to them then.

Then is closer to now
than I thought possible
how long will an obsession go on
if time never ends in your lifetime?

But you were more dark-haired
than just brunette, (that is my genetic regret),
for light brown is really blond
and brunette is as diminutive as imagined
for all brunettes are little girls
always to be taken for granted
and rated against the gold and the golden.

The brilliant color of your eyes extends
out to the iris
but never within.

No matter what they tell you
suicide is never romantic.

I had heard murmurings
you moved out west
but that was only wistful restlessness.

Often, you were seen laughing
caught between
here and there.

You were laughing then
was that real or contrived
who you are
or the suicide?

Marriage must have altered you
for once you were
(though at all times deny)
lustful and wild
but now you have let yourself
be pushed off.

We never knew what you would do, Jules
we never knew you
I have never escaped
from your silence,
the silence of sirens.

Andrea DeAngelis

Andrea DeAngelis is at times a poet, writer, shutterbug and musician living in New York City. Her writing has recently appeared in Tin House, Moth + Rust and Blue Monday Review. She has just completed her first novel Pushed. Andrea also sings and plays guitar in the indie rock band MAKAR (

Artwork: Katelizabeth, “Ursula”

This entry was published on April 29, 2015 at 12:03 am and is filed under 12 (April 2015), Archive, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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