"Literature was her liquor" — A Poem

by Julianne Day Ignacio 

Literature was her liquor
Love, just a lofty ideal
Rioja wine filled her senses
Heavy with fragrance
Heady with the taste of sweet

She was safer in a reverie
Reveling in the delirium of
Entertaining a windswept romance
She had
No business of building
Beyond the boundaries of “hello”
Beyond the borderlines of pushing paper
Beyond the confines of her cubicle

Safer to be
Boxed within:


Imaginary scenarios
Of serenades never sung out loud
Of proclamations better left zipped
Beneath a lipsticked smirk
Sealing secrets on the tip of
Her tongue
Despite the longing lining her lips
Never mind the impure
Impetuous images
Lingering behind facades
Of a ladylike exterior
Extended only to appease the comforts
Of people who misunderstand who she was.

She was:

Neither saint nor courtesan

Only a lone star gradually gaining
Her grasp on grappling what it means

To be both girl and woman
To be and not be fetishized as Other

Confronting wormholes of impossibility
The exotified task, the challenge of
Embodying of all that which she is not.

So she sipped another glass:

Sangria, red, a splash of flavors
Stirred in a pitcher
Served at a mixer

Beats making her heart bounce
The way that Keats made her blush
How his lush poetry about the stars, the moon
Led his beloved Fanny Brown to swoon
Until John departed too soon, doomed.

She prided herself in common sense
Mastered the art of sarcasm
With wit as sharp and biting as Austen
Whilst she kept in check the shared
Far-flung hopes of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne

For though she felt their throes and pangs
Of passion in the midst of a plight
Imagined fleeing to the moors
In the middle of the night
Her mind always reeled her back in
Reminding her of how
Cathy and Jane were being
Thinking that shadows shifted in the dark
That curtains rustled
That an attic held relics
Buried in boxes, dotted with dust
Cobwebbed corners of rooms:


Containing a corpse
Half-alive not quite awake
Consumed with desire
To burn, destroy, declare with fire.

Another shot of tequila
Another bottle of beer
Serve up some more whiskey
Gins and tonics and absinthe
More toasts to lurid tales
Cheering to heartbreak, loss
Revolutions—hear, hear!

Julianne Day Ignacio

A bonafide bookworm, self-proclaimed nerd, and cat-lover, Julianne is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who loves to listen to a good story and help others cultivate their storytelling skills. Julianne received her Master's degree in Media Studies and Certificate in Media Management from The New School. You can find her crafting new content and updating the social media outlets for Verge of Verse, snapping photos, or chilling out at a cafe or park as she writes about her discoveries and her adventures in the city.

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