21st May 11
and in the shop…
pamphlet collection –
“Lessons in Mallemaroking”
Nine Arches Press
She carries it home
cradled in her pocket,
egg-heavy in her palm.
Below the morning’s clatter
of gym-kit loss, late homework,
office-politic moans, she hears a scritch
and chitter, a rattle of wood within wood.
She holds it in cupped hands;
frowns at the smile, the aproned belly,
She pulls and twists, creaks the split
wider, looks at the doll inside.
Its painted apron is crooked,
one corner creased to a point.
She turns it in her hands, shivers
at smudged blooms that promise teeth,
trailing ropes of hair suggesting tails.
The flowers on the next one
look like smears of blood, its apron
a ragged stain. Half dolls litter the kitchen,
spin and rock where she drops them,
oscillating faces wink and leer.
A scent of singed feathers catches
at her throat, she hears the slap
and squelch of wet hands in meat.
Iron salts her tongue.
The last one stops her.
Bean-sized on her palm, concentrated
red; its face a tiny oval she bends to see.
Wooden teeth chatter under the gloss
as she clenches her fist around it.
She feels its weight marking her skin.