Dream of Pink Victrolas
(poppy) do you remember when i asked you
to take two parts pomegranate juice to one
part granulated sugar so you pulled out your
teeth and placed them on a sheet of butcher’s
paper? the continents of bone—teeth are
bone. no teeth are not bone—were too white
for our liking so we cut the violet vein of your
little wrist and bled you out till we were too
tired to laugh. heat until sugar melts. we
slept; your blood kept me warm. but wait,
what color was it when you first put it to your
lips, when you were just a little, when you
were just so little, when he said you should
stay little. but you didn’t.
B&E Queen of the ’70s
6. Yellow crazy ants tramp trails across
5. Kimble says, “Maybe it won’t hurt baby—just
one hit.” We’re already on foot. King’s Cross is
hot with girls and boys ready to suck for
change. We, like them, don’t have a dollar, but
you don’t need dough to steal a pethidine
4. Ahead, Kimble walks, his kid’s shirt reveals
his tormented spine. I want to feed him and
fuck him. Over his shoulder he looks at me,
his pupils as fat as an eccy high from his
heroin absence; what I see in that pit is the
soul of a man who accepts slavery.
3. On the Western Line to Kingswood, we say
nothing, then say too much; weep tears that
tear. He says his mum believed he would be a
pharmacist when he grew up. We laugh but
not hard. Teens board. Reek of weed. Look
for a weak being who they can roll. Seeing our
junky sweats they cough up the mucus in their
lungs that we’ve become. Spit gunk globs
onto the tracks as they alight.
2. I’ve got eczema, Kimble says. No, you
don’t. No, but something I do have is dyslexia.
At boarding school, all the girls tried to choke
me with their pearls. We’ve never been much
good at fitting into churches, clinics, cop cars,
courthouses. Heaven. Being strung out
makes a saint of you, Pop. You better go
wash someone’s feet with your tears. Am I
1. I look at the moon, see my father’s face in
the fissures, as Kimble cracks the window of
the chemist and we wait for an alarm. Silence.
We say our prayer of thanks with crowbars.
The safe on the wall opens her womb to us,
and we fill our backpack with her babies.
Together we hit the hood where kings will
never live in woods. Our limbs transform into
pinions. Kimble cries out, You look so good in
a face mask. And I say, It brings out my eyes.
Kimble screams and I believe that this world
can hold the two of us in its fat cheeks without
eating us whole. Only a train ride away is our
home that doesn’t deserve to be demolished,
that never meant to sprinkle asbestos into our
0. The train slows and we step onboard. A
stairwell goes up, another goes down, but we
just stand at mid-level and hug, between us
our unborn baby and the backpack full of our
Ann-Marie Blanchard is originally from Lakesland, Australia. She currently lives in the United States where she is pursuing her PhD in Fiction at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, having completed her MFA in Fiction at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2015, she won the William Harrold Poetry Prize, and in 2014 was awarded second place in the Katherine Susannah Prichard award for Short Fiction. Publication is forthcoming in the anthology for the University of Canberra’s Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize and in Westerly Magazine.