Angels at Sea

by Candace Ramsey

He wouldn’t be a man
if he didn’t look right through me,
because that’s what men do to me.
Their boyish eyes look where my face usually is.
What do they see?
Certainly not enough of what they’re used to.
The blonde hair and fair skin
of the women next to me,
behind me,
and in front of me…
She’s everywhere,
wearing her redundant radiance.
I, on the other hand, have
a plainness that isn’t pretty enough
to stand alone.
And so I must try to patch the gaps and connect the dots
with curls, color, and shine
that are not mine.

He wouldn’t be a man
if he didn’t pass me up,
because that’s what men do to me.
They don’t call me the next day.
Why the hell not?
I guess it doesn’t matter.
What I need is a promise.
Someone should have told me that wishes expire,
because I’ve been putting falling stars in my purse.
If only there was a cure for dreams,
like the little, green pills I take everyday
to jump-start my smiles.
If only there were pills to treat the curiosity
and embarrassment of bodies,
pills to sink the ball of regret that rises in the East,
pills that revive drowned Angels
and erase their stupidity.

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3 thoughts on “Angels at Sea”

  1. Candace-
    Beautifully written! Good for you for publishing this. You are a very talented poet and writer. I look forward to reading more from you.

  2. Yes, I agree. This is a literary piece of art. I enjoyed it, as well as felt the pain of feminine equality, and the need to keep up with the Joannes to win a mate. I have spoken to many women who actually say that their appearance is for other women mostly, and not for men. I suppose men will never know women and vice versa. I blame the media for crippling men in the beginning, by showing them as whores and cheaters and the overall reason for ending relationships. They are also responsible for the interpretation of what “women” should look like. I hate the makeup, but the butch look scares me.

    What I’ve learned in my years is this: the one we want very seldom wants us, and when we settle for someone to be with, we end up ruining it, just as depicted on TV, because men feel emotion through their eyes, and women through their hearts and many other facets. However, since women are taking more of the role of bread winner, I imagine this will change and women too will have the male mindset of, “might as well take one of the best ones and enjoy it, because it won’t last anyway.”

    It might just boil down to a chemical reaction which causes Anna Nicole to be in love with 90-year-old billionaires. A man has to be 90 to understand the emotions of a woman in her 20s. The money helps too. Sorry for the long narrative, but your poem inspired thought, which makes it Very Good.

  3. *** This first half is off topic–sort of–but hang in there. ***
    Eh? “Men feel emotion through their eyes..”? Wow, way to perpetuate the “dumb caveman” stereotype there, Maurice. And the best way to “win” is to not “play” a game. (That’d be the first rule.) Maybe the koan revelation/awakening that you can’t be anything if you can’t be nothing applies here? Which implies that if you cannot be happy alone, what will another person be able to do for you?

    Now, sorry to drift–I did really enjoy the poem, Candace. You have a strong voice in that piece! Would I be out of line to mention that you relied on a couple of clichéd images that do a disservice to the depth of your message here? For example, “falling stars” is a bit too cutesy a phrase for the voice in your poem to use. It kind of pulls me out of the moment/disrupts the flow because that’s an image many girls & boys have used (and will continue to use–long past the death of the stars they mention).
    It’s the difference between a very good poem & brilliant one. Overall, you’ve taken a universal, secret, true pain & made it something we can all share (and hence take comfort) in. I think it’s a great piece.
    I hope to see more!
    Nothing but the best to you, Justin

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