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  • wretchedcreationsm

Sanctuary

By: Lynn Finger


I

She builds a sanctuary for twig dolls

in the herb room, their souls drip

petals onto grey stone floor.


She holds porridge to their dry mouths & brushes

their stick hair. When her lying other,

with black hair and hard eyes, pokes his head in

& says, you can’t save something


that’s not alive. She turns. Eyes him

from her distance. Who says they’re not?


II

Her lying other comes home from his day to find

bits of his own blunt fingernails &

dark hair pulled from the comb,


plus other hair, his lover’s red hair, all over the floor.

She says, I’m weaving covers for the dolls,

they can’t sleep. Their eyes are open


all the time. Their eyes seek him, from their own

distance. They look like they want to kill me, he says.

How can they, she whispers, if they’re not alive?


III

They are both asleep. The dolls with their decayed paper

skirts drag into the room. Smell of bitter ash fill

the air, & they bite his throat skin, gently, with their


sharp twig mouths. Their infection grows in him, and

when she wakes, she sees him next to her, a stiff twig doll

with black twig hair & a desperate mouth in an “O.:

Won’t his lover grieve.


His life among people erased, like a wave pulled back

into itself from the wet sand, gone. She stacks him

along the wall with the other twig dolls,

then rolls over and returns to sleep.



 

Lynn Finger’s (she/her) poetry has appeared in Ekphrastic Review, 8Poems, Perhappened, Twin Pies, Book of Matches, Drunk Monkeys and is forthcoming in Resurrection Mag. Lynn is an editor at Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Follow Lynn on Twitter @sweetfirefly2

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