Ward of the Hatter

Dolls, be dolls
you are at a tea party, you are my dolls, and it is hush time.
Paper and card dolls that cover their sticky innards from outward eyes.
My lips to their lips shush!
They’ll know my words and hear my meaning.
Silent sinners, silent!
There is a man out there and he doesn’t want to have cake with his flies.

We make good caterpillars
chrysalis’d in my carded cove
and when the man passes we’ll be butterflies again.

I watch you leave but can see you want a stay,
this be fin, but there is no debate here and you cannot help me,
there’s no room at the inn.
I have them held like a bad kitten,
all scruff of neck and meowing like I am catnip,
left for another Tom to play with,
but don’t worry I play with this Tom and earn me a tip.

He’ll be suede and i’ll be mink, distract him from the truth I think.

My paper dolls
a corner has turned them and they be safe,
safe like houses,
like street lamps and merry-go-rounds.

I search him out, I am his girl friday again,
a moment and a moment only, I’ll be his girl friday again.
If I am back in his arms he wont chase the chase for a while,
but I’ll scratch him with a needle and he will feel no pain.

No mummy don’t look
I be a filthy girl and have no other dresses for church,
close your eyes mummy I be a fast girl
just be them like daddy and they’ll be gone soon and I
I will be your Wily Thing again I promise in a new starched dress!

He always tastes like copper,
no pomegranates in my mouth,
just copper and sand like when I had buckets and seashells under my hand.
He likes it when I lie, lie but not lie like not truth
or sly truth, but lie like sticks in the river, like a still thing.
He is quick and slow, slow mind slowed by the needle kiss,
dirty whore, she slaps them up but make them sing!

There is a dark wet place of me now,
my paper dolls have hidden shame faced
and you poke at them with dirty fingernails, soft brain, hard intent.

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