by Alexa Doran
It’s not that I can’t handle it—
the rainbow sop of the slots,
the coin clot, the neon scar
of night that never stops—
but that the woman next to me
lets the fluorescents freckle her hands
like Jesus let the moon muscle his back
when everything else was wilderness.
How many of us have asked too much of glitter?
Have counted on sparkle to bear?
I know that’s why my therapist suggested this—
it’s easy to concede defeat
in the disco-honey of dollars and gin neat.
She doesn’t think I’ll ever see Wendy.
The boys? I ask. Maybe. She says for mums like me
belief is the new baby.
Coddle it. Nurse it. But, my God, loss has a mouth
that ferns and ferns. Every morning
its lips un-stitch and I feather its ever-urn.
The woman to my left places her last bet
of the night. What will she buy?
Is there a child cozy in some London,
some quaff of jasmine, awaiting
the putter of her tokens,
or a husband liquoring away the Sunday
she wants to use as his grave? Maybe
I am a goddess and
this is all myth. How else could three children
just cease to exist? Why else would I be
in this kaleidoscopic cyst, if not to feel
the fracture of all I miss
fed back to me as glitter and hiss?