of children, ripped cardboard,
happy endings. A flesh
rimmed cavern, sinews strung under
the heart like harp strings. Tanks
rumble under my feet
when the wolf talks, gutter-pulsing
in skin. I lie on my back & pretend
this hollow is a spaceship,
primed for a red sky. The acid
river foams down my spine.
My grandmother lies
next to me, holds a fistful
of crumpled tulips. Her glasses
perched on the stomach bed.
She knows this cage by touch; knows
the lost girls from the woods
whose ghosts whisper when I sleep.
I imagine the wolf in front of the mirror,
scanning his fur for scratch marks.
I imagine he’s tired of fighting.
Tired of being a storyline,
clause, augury for a beast
choking on its blood.
How many girls sprawled on
a story finale, colourpop
double spread, smiling in their
gas chambers. How many girls
in the bellies of machines
that pretend to love them.