After the End

by Kellelynne H. Riley

After the end
there is only a woman waiting
on life, made up
like a marriage bed,
white silk sheets pursed
and tucked just so,
made up
like a fairytale whispered
in a sow’s ear.
There are no scarlet lips bleeding
promises here, no lifeline
tresses rippling down
tower walls.
There is no alabaster
skin set in glass,
no tender hip rolling,
bright eye pleading,
slippered foot tapping.
No heart of gold
to wrap a handkerchief around
and tuck away.
There is only a woman waiting
on herself,
spit-shined and boxed
into these four walls.

Kellelynne H. Riley lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is working on a masters degree in book publishing. Her work has appeared in the Bound Off podcast and in journals including The Portland Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Plasma Frequency. She can be found online here.

When asked to name her favourite fruit, she replied "I have a mad passion for fresh figs, and have been known to plant fig trees in other people’s gardens under cover of darkness."

Previous | Back to Table of Contents