By Cassidy Manley 

A Cancer Poem

He died on a September day
But you could say
He died all year
Or forty six
It rises from his skin like mist
And dew-like, settles on
The couch
We threw away
But the smell remains.

It’s hard to clean a living room
When the problem is invisible

But I sit and it pools
Around my hips
Until I am damp with the stench of

Has an odor best described
In water words –
It churns and seeps
Into your clothes
Your skin, your nose
Drip with
The fetid breath
That left his body

Clung to my hair until I could have wrung it out.

A Sonnet to My Husband (or “Why Did You Throw Your Phone at the Airport?”)

Were you born with a yell perched on your lip
And ruler’s iron spoon clenched in your teeth
I do not know the rocks where you were reared
I tide-like raised submissive to the beach

I cannot grasp the low-slung power hung
Between your thighs save when I grasp to take
Your edicts into my unwilling hands
Which cannot know the fists your fingers make

Was your father an earthquake in your home
Of tremor shaken mothers that began
With woman after woman long perplexed
By the deep seated anger of a man

And I born of the sea to stay your hand
To know and know you not, borne to the land

About the Author:


C. Manley is an actor, student, and New Hampshire native. She currently lives in Dayton, OH with her husband and their impish corgi. This is her first published piece.