May 2017 Winner

LOOKING FOR HAPPINESS (SHOPS)

Marvel Chukwudi Pephel

Who knows how to peel lies from the tongue
Or how to wash weighty grief from the soul?

In the dark, a wife hears her heart pour
Like the sink tap she forgot to close –
It’s a mixture of lies and fears.
She knows the man is out again sharing part of her
With strange women.
But she must not tell herself it is true.
In the morning when she goes to the grocery store
Or the Chinese restaurant down the street,
She feels everything she haggles price for is Happiness.
She cuts the meat gently, afraid it might be her heart.
She pours enough sugar into the pastry,
Because she knows, subconsciously, that Happiness
Ought to be sweet.
She would do this for a long time
Until she comes to a point where she must either find real Happiness
Or learn how to spoon-feed the man
With the delicacy of collected lies.