Candace Howze is an American writer and multimedia artist living in North Carolina. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Cellar Door, Bop Dead City, and Quiet Circle Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and recently completed her first chapbook.

Candace Howze

This Gift is Not Mine

She is wearing the hat you bought her. Floppy black, what might seem regal, distinguished or a few grades lower than the crown of an angel who sings hymns to the heavens and it is as if I am singing hymns to you without a voice, or maybe playing the drums without stick or hand; someone hand me a new conscience. A conscience new like a painter's fresh creation creating new memories as a child stumbling upon the world and finding wonders, finding large cut meadows, finding broken thorns hinged upon branches. Perhaps there will always be this nightmarish revelation during this dreamy infatuation with you who gives hats to women who are not me, it seems no matter how often we resuscitate, women like me will always die by the first drop of blood-dyed praise that leaps from our souls. Searching for your ear. Ringing. Falling in the meadow — without a sound. Do I exist? Do we? Would we know we were here without the pain? Tonight I walk city parks soul-heavy, head bare, silently singing.

I wrote this poem after completing a study on David Ferry and experimenting with new forms of imitation. While the poem appears to lament unrequited love at first read, it really explores the ups and downs of life. The pain we endure while loving someone, the innocence we lose as we gain life experience, the doubts we have about our existence, and the song that each individual carries with him/her. I hope the reader sees that although we may find ourselves coming back to heartbreak, we never lose our song.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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