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From Abstract Internal Furniture by Helen Rickerby


In the shadows of my soul
she is there
coiled, she leans herself against
the inner curves of my
body, stretches
cat-like with one arm
above her head -
   dark shading
   with a firm brush
The Vampire Woman
with her flaming hair
purple nails
forked tongue
and fangs (of course)
   she waits
ready to strike

She wanders around
inside my head -
I hear her footfalls

while you're asleep
she fits her hand
into my hand like it's
a glove and
draws my fingernail
across your
throat or mine


I can see
right through her skin
and into her heart.
It glows blue
like a sapphire
like a large block of ice.
She is draped in blue
and stands in a saint pose.
She holds out her arms
to welcome me.

And as I run
a flurry of white pages with
small black type
fall from the ceiling
blocking my path.
There is no way around
and it's too far to jump.
Though I know it's forbidden
I take careful steps across
on my socked feet
and leave only a few creases
as evidence of my escape.

©Helen Rickerby