When you converted to vampirism

 

you took me with you like a schoolgirl crush

and renamed me in her image. You carried your

 

halo well—a wisp of cloudlight through the pub

window when you told me I belong in the chapel

 

of bones, that making a pilgrimage to the town

built on death would suit my medieval fixations.

 

But with ink held under our tongues like cyanide

– Camus, Pessoa – we hadn’t grown up. Your voice

 

was a needle skip around a pistol grip, while I cider-

drenched wraiths only I could see. We based ourselves

 

on bloodstains, never let on we’d sunbleached them to dust;

we never let on these winding sheets were lifted

 

from a well-mannered airing cupboard, the emperor’s

new shrouds – hiding inside them with hearts that still beat.

 

 

 

Witchling

for Saoirse

 

She chatters

to cats, birds, foxes

in breath and whispers,

 

but real enchantment is found

in certain grown-ups (who would

send most children into the forest

with less than crumbs) who say she

is charming in spite of themselves.

 

“Oh I could just eat her!”

they cry, reminiscent of wolves,

of gingerbread houses—

 

but this creature

with her two-tone hair

and her soul-pressing stare

will not allow it:

 

she reverses every legend,

turns hexes on their heads

without a mirror, without an oven

without a circle of salt,

without one

poison apple

in sight.

 

 

 

 

katered2017

 

Kate Garrett is the managing editor of Three Drops from a Cauldron and Picaroon Poetryand her own writing is widely published online and in print. She is the author of several pamphlets, most recently You’ve never seen a doomsday like it (Indigo Dreams, 2017), and Losing interest in the sound of petrichor (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2018). Kate grew up in rural southern Ohio, but moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives in Sheffield with her husband, five children, and a sleepy cat.

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