Tenderfoot

Our Lady of Sisters Creek

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by Alison Eastley

Bright hallucinatory flickers at different
times in different places, always
inside the night, outside the morning.
Balls of cotton, nail varnish remover,

all traces gone. These days, they’re packed
away, rarely taken out. You treat me
the same. It isn’t because you’re among bohemians
on the left side. I admire freshness

of face, wetness of lips with blood
but there is no blood, only milk and
chocolate covered biscuits on a white plate.
You’re pretending to be a French Maid.

It’s a mix of black net stockings, evil
heels teetering on the brink. I pull your hair
into the fist of my hand. But after, you
become distant, too busy with different

interests. They form a long lasting silence,
the precious charm of Our Lady of Sisters
Creek, anemic and weak, I only notice
when you leave.

(Italics: from ‘Giaour’ by Lord Byron)