A sunny girl from Northern climes,
hair and skin both honey-bright
with wide blue eyes, and in the gray
of an early spring, exuding light,

she reeks of health. Her diary
is crammed with fitness, every date
a rushed itinerary, full
of things to keep her in that state—

aerobics and organic fruit
—rip the flesh and suck the pips!—
bike to work from a D4 home…
until one day, her bright gaze slips

and falls on him, Italianate—
subtle, with a hint of threat,
bling on his finger. And his voice
cloys with a charm that makes her wet.

So he’s “in business”—various things—
the sort of wealth with wads of cash
from nowhere in particular,
a sleek Mercedes, and a stash

of blow from South America
back at his place (with potpourri
above the toilet, and the sink
crowned with mousses from Italy).

Fast-forward through frenetic nights,
romantic dinners, snorted coke,
flowers delivered to her work,
their favorite song, their private joke.

He takes the gambit, and succeeds.
A ring’s produced, and she says yes
on a long walk through Phoenix Park.
The wind is blowing from the west,

wafting and dulcet, as the sun
sinks down behind the stands of trees,
promising in a breathless rush
a life of indolence and ease.

But still, they pack and make their way
to meet the “Family,” now hers,
with bodyguards and smoking wives
with Gucci bags and hideous furs.

Proserpina looks up and gasps,
stupid in her shock, her scream
unuttered as they pull her down,
beyond the reeking, corpse-choked stream

burbling with the failing pleas
that echo through the dark and wet,
rushing into darker caves
beyond forgiveness or regret.

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QUINCY R. LEHR’s poetry and criticism have been published in numerous print and online journals in North America, Europe, and Australia, including Rattle, The Stinging Fly, New Walk, Measure, Contemporary Poetry Review, and The Dark Horse. He is the author of two books, Across the Grid of Streets (2008) and Obscure Classics of English Progressive Rock (2012), as well as the forthcoming Shadows and Gifts (2012) from Barefoot Muse Press. He is a co-host of the long-running Carmine Street Metrics poetry series, and he has been the associate editor of The Raintown Review since 2008. He lives in Brooklyn, perhaps inevitably, where he teaches history at a small liberal arts college, drinks a great deal of pretentious coffee, and lives with two cats.

2 responses to “A Change of Season”

  1. John Hospodka says:

    Now that’s good.

  2. Alexis Rhone Fancher says:

    Hot. Terrific. Dark. Deliciously dark.

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