Mad Hatters' Review Issue 10, Fall 2008
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Interior Design Contest
First Place Winning Entry by

Mary Hamrick

Art by Paul DiLasoia


She says,
"Yes, yes.
Come in.
Have a seat."

Stop breathing.

There is a midsummer shame
in the shadows of red
as she sinks and slinks
into her couch. Primping.

Her short, metallic dress whistles.

The dark paws of social rabbits and hares
bring southern beauties luck. They stain
these old-line women with red sunsets,
perfect skin, and long, irritable legs.

They thump and purr the word goddess.

Sets of eyes, all of them male,
suture themselves
around her couch, stammering her name.
My spacesuit parts insulate me, cool me:

I never lose control.

Her place smells of creamed dessert,
of peppermint and banana oil.
Our hungry eyes sit like stumps,
gorging, chewing, and baking under

the electric hum of her floating lamp.

beauty roosts on a couch
and sleeps like wild red poinsettia. I feel
a seed of desire to devour her and her things:

I am no longer beautiful.

Fill my mouth with her dark cherries.
Fill my mouth with her blind eyes.
Mature, shark-gray, and lost, I want more
as I fill my mouth with smoke . . .

naughty, naughty me.

Wealth brings a curse: you
are the fine cello between our legs. Predators
camouflaged in unique patterns hang,
black and white, on your wall. Your neck is held

with the fire of our growing muscle.

Sweetheart, we want it all:
your plump, sweaty pillows,
your pasty, bony pals,
the core of earth underneath your feet,

your burning house parts.

I like hell and the flames of a wicked slumber.
Watching and waiting, we will cling to your window,
dark and shadowy: stragglers in a museum.
To cut and past the body of your life onto me,

does this make me a beast?

In years to come,
the chalky bones of your skull
will sit on a table
brooding. Like fish, we will bubble-up and

a floating key will let us in.

I will tell you this, Mister . . .
when she loses ground,
the devils will enter
and take it all away.

Every moment of her life will be ours.

Edgy and Enlightened Literature, Art and Music in the Age of Dementia
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last update: October 14, 2008