By Laura Lannan.
“When the doctor asks why you don’t sleep / curl on the carpet in the shape of a cursive C / copycat of his cat / a black fat thing with white socks / pretend you are his pet…“
Artwork by Vanessa Stefanova.
When the doctor asks why you don’t sleep / curl on the carpet in the shape of a cursive C / copycat of his cat / a black fat thing with white socks / pretend you are his pet / hide under his desk from your parents when they come to pick you up / pick / at the scabs on your knees to make sure you still bleed / at night you aren’t sure / if you’re dead or not real / in an unfortunate turn of events / your mother takes a Kodak of you and the cat / she frames it / hangs it in the stairwell / at night you point your flashlight at it / see the cat mirrored in you / you mirrored in the cat / your ghost face mirrored in the glass / you feel your teeth are too sharp / your legs are too hairy / sleep all day like the cat / run around at night and knock down all the knickknacks.
Third wine deep
You remember your face in the cake.
You can’t or you won’t
Remember if this was nice.
Nice to be sticky nice
To be joked with like
A friend. Nice.
Nice to be nice.
A nice girl at
Later, run as fast as you can, nice girl.
It’s nice to swing on the swing set
while a bald man
in a wifebeater
the nice girls the nice
Little girls little
The wood chips
under your hands
Your feet slap the asphalt like gunshots.
You go to the Planned Parenthood on Fourth Street when you think Ken has given you . You remember all the times you shook your head at other girls, I’d never let a man come inside, only you did. You did, and the pink plastic waiting room chairs shackle you to your un-feminist judgments. You remember how he moaned. It doesn’t feel as good with a condom on. Didn’t you want him to feel good? He never made you orgasm, but he had come the closest of anyone so far.
The nurse in pink scrubs says there is nothing wrong with you. Your pussy just itches. It’s probably the guilt.
The Blood Pudding – January 1, 2023
Laura Lannan is a recent graduate of the MFA program at American University where she received the Myra Sklarew Award for outstanding poetry thesis. Her work has been published in THAT Literary Review, Burnt Pine Magazine, and Prometheus Dreaming. A lover of horror movies, libraries, and heavy metal music, she lives in Washington, D.C.
Artwork: Vanessa Stefanova is an artist who creates surreal artworks which she hopes to spark conversation and connect with the viewer. Her creations are divided into three tiers, the paintings, digital artworks and a colouring in book series. You can find more about her here.