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She sharpens the thickest bones from her stays into knives and slips them under the mattress. She pretends to sleep; her hair haloes her cherub face, cornsilk on cotton. The dog snores on the floor, grunts. The husband crawls into the bed, buzzing like a hive with rum-soaked desire and the village bonfire. He grabs for her, but she jerks away. He knocks over a houseplant, dirt spreading like dunes across the carpet. The chasm between them can only be filled with sheetrock or murder. Blood pools eggplant purple. As the sun rises she sews the whalebone back into her clothes, the roosters call sounding closer and closer.
Erin Emily Ann Vance holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary and studies Irish Folklore and Ethnology at University College Dublin. Her first full-length poetry collection, A History of Touch, will be published by Guernica Editions in 2022. She is the author of the chapbook, The Sorceress Who Left too Soon: Poems After Remedios Varo from Coven Editions. Her writing has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, EVENT Magazine, Augur Magazine, Arc Poetry Magazine, Canthius, and more. Her first novel, Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers was published by Stonehouse Gothic in 2019. Learn more at erinvance.ca.
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