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Poetry by Lea Deschenes 

Lea is a graphic/web designer by day, as well as the author eight self-published chapbooks.  For more information, see her website at




© 2004  Lea Deschenes




The table is set, covered
in crisp white linen, glints
of polished stainless,
honest stoneware,
the best of a house
less rich than made
for welcome.

The fan-folded napkins
gather like the corners
of your eyes when you've
been smiling, curved
Lombardic script marks
your place with a name.

If you ever come to sit
everything will rumple,
wine stains feathering
the cloth where it's been kissed
by the bottom of your glass,
dessert crumbs, flower
petals from the centerpiece
scattered in your feasting wake.

If you ever come to sit,
candles will burn through
conversation until wax
overflows the holders,
long after the coffee is gone,
dishes abandoned
to the sink.

Take this chair,
set aside in your honor.

Help me tear
this house apart.


Tin Can Telephone

Take the weight from my red-eye homegoing.
Take the snap from the length of my arm.
Take my hand where you will
with all its ballast slipping.
Pull me close as if I'd returned,
a distant relative after long absence,
hair in disarray, shirt wrinkled
from shifting in my seat,
the tether that connects you
to your object of desire,
the string children talk through
between empty cans of soup.

Tell me a secret.
Speaking to the wind
brings me no answers,
hoarse with the attempt
to spill enough breath to bring

I carry these delicate vibrations through air,
business traveler destined
for lonely rooms that all look the same:

vague floral comforters,
nightstand bibles and bad television,
bathrooms the size of postage stamps,
mediocre watercolors and wide bureau mirrors,
everything chemically fresh, the last
tenant's transience sanitized.

I hung my head out the window
like a dog the whole long plane ride here.
The clouds never once waved.
They never once brought news
of you waiting on the tarmac.

So here I am, unexpected guest
waiting to be taken in, somewhat
less than stranger and more than strange.
I would've come bearing gifts
if they sold anything worth owning
in airport kiosks.

I would've liberated a kidney
for your collection or at least
come up with a good story
about the embattled stewardess
ignoring the exuberant young couple
who proceeded to demand
more orange juice and nips.
They threw peanuts at the movie,
which was only just.

Your gaze passes over my shoulder,
looking for the friend that surely
must follow my footsteps,
searching my pockets for letters,
my luggage for lucky souvenirs
from famous places.

If you ever get around to asking,
you'll find out I'm tired.
I need a bed, real food, and sleep.
I need to be asked my favorite color.
I need to be a destination
in my own right
instead of this courier
of scrapbooks.

I need you to put this right-
tug my jacket back to my shoulder,
take my bags and pour me in the car
like ice sculpture melting.

Take me into your home
until I have my own chair
and remember your birthday.

Let me stay until you forget
to look past my shoulder.
I don't know how she is.
I don't know who she is.

Pretend for the moment
that my limp, exhausted self
is the connection that you wanted
instead of a tripwire
spanning hollow tin tubes.




All work is copyrighted property of Lea Deschenes.



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