Tenderfoot

Penelope's Electric Blanket, Penelope Sleeps Inside, Wrapped in Sheets

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by Alison Eastley

Penelope’s Electric Blanket

The temperature of blood
stuck in a shut vein like paper
cuts any question he never
thinks distance has anything
to do with Penelope’s electric
blanket keeping her warm
against the hole this side of absence
he left with a tip from Eros
filling her teeth with lead.

Penelope Sleeps Inside

Gossip on a cruise for cross
dressing conservatives: he shaves legs
to chin, can’t be anything but a smooth
caress slipping to a stupor
and folded a white paper serviette
damp with satisfaction

he says means nothing the way
history collapses in a corner
of the sheet worn by a single thread
so many years ago the bed –
sworn to memory if Penelope
sleeps inside predictions the same
as the ring of her name, patience
is a virtue but loving Odysseus is insane.

Wrapped in Sheets

The superstitious believe this love
is cold silence but silence
smells of soft falling rain. A romantic

says it’s a sparrow snapped
by winter, held to my clammy
breast, dead bird feathers, sensitive

as an angry dog. Cold clouds
freeze Catullus wrapped in Egyptian
cotton sheets, swaddled language

I don’t understand this blanket
of hate bites like yesterday’s
broken skeleton of sharp edged pain.


About the author

Alison Eastley is an Arts student at the University of Tasmania. She is allergic to Jane Austen and very fond of William Faulkner but mostly, she prefers work written underneath a fifth century Athenian sky.

Works published on Trove:
  1. More like Charlotte - Volume 4, Issue 2
  2. Penelope's Electric Blanket, Penelope Sleeps Inside, Wrapped in Sheets - Volume 4, Issue 2