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Photography: Sarah Reed
Heather Talbott

changing the wallpaper

Last time I visited
he was changing the wallpaper
in the house we shared
for more than ten years.
I gathered some shreds
and stuck them together
to form a party dress
then wore it out.
My new friends laughed;
they called it Art.
Our old friends
called it an exhibition.


        you and me -
tried to split
while we were ahead.

You spread me to the edge,
                      ate me whole
(while I licked your fingers),
drank my nectar,
           drank me dry,
but it went to your head
to be pissed against the wall,
and you crawled
black-faced through
the labyrinth of my mind
until I lost you.

Still, you made your way
                 magnetically drawn
to my side where I rubbed
my balm in your feet,
your mead poured over me
where you licked it from
crevices known
                      and rediscovered.
I rubbed your temples
with my saliva,
kept you whole.

Now we grey by the hearth
                       feet touching
eyes full of fire
and when you laugh and say
I’ll always be your
Queen Bee
I ask, But have you heard
the one about
the drone?

stigma stigmata

She never kneels to pray.
She lies
still her corners mitred
hands folded where she can see
the room’s shadows
her mantra to Our Father.
Her mind is a loose shutter
banging, banging on,
Ad infinitum, ad nauseum,
Ad perpetuam rei memoriam.

Tell me a story, Daddy.
Lie down with me and
I’ll tell you a story just for us.

She washes her hands
of his stories each day.
She lies still 
(stories grow shorter with age).
There’s no telling what
Our Father makes of her
banging on heaven’s shutter
- afraid he will answer
or that He won’t care.
Mother Mary she suspects
will look the other way.

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