CANDICE WUEHLE

 

EARTH 


X 1 
 
There are only a few lives I think 
you really could have done justice: deposed 
dictator, abused queen. The night 
our cat’s body is cremated, he informs me 
your response to the death reflected exactly 
your mother’s response to the death of 
her husband. She lost all 
composure. No, 
No, no, no, no. 
 
X 2 
 
I never told you this. 
It is Take Your Daughter to Work Day and I am reading 
a Sweet Valley Twins book when he taps my knee and smiles, 
points to the mouth 
of the telephone to the coast 
he is speaking to. Lifts a finger, 
and lets it drop. 
Then he rages. I laugh. He just flipped a 
Switch. 
 
X 3 
 
My hands are my slaves. I protect and care for them 
and in return they articulate my 
will for me. What does Life mean 
to you who with your hands do not even brush your own hair? 
My slaves work past exhaustion. Shake and weaken. Send strong distress 
to the bicep, to the cervical centers and still I 
won’t let them down. I once lived under a bar called Ground X: 
so much slapping. 
 
X 4 
 
In your last texts 
you finally revel 
in apology: CAND, LOVEU LUVON5 I MESSED UP. You are the last one left who 
knows how to make me open 
my mouth to slavver nothing, who knows how to hang. 
 
X 5 
 
You said I was the only woman you ever knew well 2 
 
who was certain of her life 
and I wondered if you meant to invent your own monster 
just to meet me. I implore 
myself to imagine myself 
as you were in the aisle of St. Mary’s 
the afternoon of your mother’s funeral, 
a sibling upholding you on either side. 
If I knew you well I would tell you at the axis of my life, there 
is nothing. No hinge to come 
unhinged, from. Instead 
I imagine my first beautiful acting master 
repeating these words: 
Your feet are on the floor 
Your feet are on the floor 
Your feet are on the floor 
and you in the impossible audience 
a pile of unblown ash, odd 
Last Ember.


Candice Wuehle is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in Iowa City, Iowa where she has taught rhetoric and creative writing at The University of Iowa. She additionally holds a Masters in Literature from the University of Minnesota. Her work can be found in “The Volta”, “Fairy Tale Review”, “BlazeVOX”, “SOFTBLOW”, “Smoking Glue Gun”, “Quarter After Eight”, “Similar:Peaks::” and “The Sonora Review”. Candice’s first chapbook, “cursewords”, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press this spring.