Kendra Tanacea


Moving by Marta Shmatava

It’s unforgivable the way I treat myself,
the lack of smelling salts and long, fine
cigarettes, thin strips of skirt steak and
a finger of scotch in a cut-glass tumbler.

Cast me in black and white, flared
trousers, a cheating husband and
murdering boyfriend. Add a shiny pistol.
You know the kind of silver-screen bitch
I’m talking about.

Cool and blonde. Dark lipstick that translates
red. A staircase winding down to a marble entry.
Elaborate plans. Hushed voices. Double-
crosses. To be outwitted, outsmarted.
And respect that when all is lost.

There’s always the undoing. The unseen
hole, the unraveling. It’s all evil: winner
and loser. In the end, that’s me, shot
twice in erotic embrace.


About the writer:
Kendra Tanacea, attorney, holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. Her first collection of poetry, If You’re Lucky Nobody Gets Hurt, was a finalist for the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees, published by Lost Horse Press, was a finalist for the Idaho Prize for Poetry. Kendra’s poems have appeared in Rattle, North American Review and Poet Lore, among others.

Image: Moving by Marta Shmatava (1965-). Oil on canvas. 120 x 240 cm. 2014. By free license.