How do you know I’m a nice girl?
How can you say that?
This trick of my yesterdays is embarrassing.
Am I the girl who went to church every Sunday
and dressed up on Easter with hat and pocketbook
and matching patent leather shoes?
A scowl of sun struck down my mother.
A smoke that sears eyes took away my father.
I’d die if I wasn’t already dead.
The days are false. The nights are true.
I should have stayed in the tent with you,
but it’s so uncivilized.
Last night I slept well, but frankly,
I kept hearing the words of that stupid song.
When I opened the dream, I was driving,
followed by a moon shadow.
I crashed into a looking-glass hotel with many men,
like I’d know where to find men in this bum-fucked town?
We had two hours before dawn.
I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I keep hearing your words.
The needle got stuck on those words.
As far as God’s concerned,
menstrual blood is one rough-tough machine.
Peter Cushing does that all the time.
I want to walk the night and fall in love and drink.
Remember me. Dream of me.
Everyone else is just cocktails.
Vampire vampyr vampire vampirs.
The telegram says you have gone away:
Proud, you halt the spiral stair;
you halt the clock.
You were condemned to serve the legal limit;
now you must play the straight man for a term.
You never altered your amused belief.
Solemn-eyed, about to vomit,
you thought of a means to end the vow,
a plot to halt the lethal flow.
The darkroom of your moonly mind
overcasts all others’ noonday eye
to print your flaming birthspot image.
About the Author: Cathleen Allyn Conway is a creative writing research student and Sylvia Plath scholar at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her pamphlet Static Cling was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2012 and All the Twists of the Tongue was published by Grey Book Press in 2018. Originally from Chicago, she lives in south London with her partner and son.