Cityscape of the Steel Princess

by Katharine Mills

Hair tangles round her feet, trips her, rips from the roots
as she fluidly moves round the state of the art kitchen
fully modernized, gleaming stainless
Unstained till she paints murals in chocolate and tomato sauce, smears
ironical fancies on clinical refrigerated walls, sets the table
with famines remembered, mythologies roasted whole, rage
preserved in syrup

A flickering present absence bluescreens into her gaze
No need to hook the growing braid off the balcony for
the thorn-crowned boy flying mad on waxen wings
starveling stooping harpy, offended and patronized,
perpetually on the brink of falling out of the heavy sky
under unwelcome burdens of generosity and obligation
weighted eyelids painted with a thin simulacrum of a snarling stare

Fraught seeds leap into a bramble hedge,
crawling from the asphalt up the sheer walls to block off her escape route
down and out, a swift swan-dive off the penthouse spire to shatter
on artificial cast stones of broken unspoken agreements
to lie with guilt pressed like a boot into her back,
shaved bald, abdomen punctured by scores of spiny viny tangles
squeezing black blood from her knotted womb.

Katharine Mills writes even more poems these days since she started sleeping under a skylight. She's been addicted to words since earliest childhood; the poetry is only a side effect.

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