Wendy Darling and Juliet

By Betty Stanton

Pins prick the soles of our feet, shadows string together to sew us to earth wet with rivers of our blood — When we are drawn up over soot covered chimneys, purple Jacaranda lining bricked streets, their thick honey scenting the air, we are stretched like sticky carnival taffy, pulled thin and sick we shed our clothes and leave the husks of our pale, thick bodies. We have always wanted to be boys, tricked with two pilgrim hands meeting as if lips and fingers should ever meet in slick kisses, should ever be monks forgetting vows — In our new skin we skip the third star, pick something in the cold distance that is new and ours, we dream pirates and adventures and natives and of becoming fathers before we are ready. Sick in bodies we can never own we slay monsters, fly with pixies, we feed on nightmares: Peter dances in the sand with a strange girl with flat slick hair and an ugly dress, Romeo scales a courtyard wall to her bedroom window and the lick of his tongue steals her breath, my child is a stranger in the world, Hook says, voice thick as he gives us back to the stars — At his heel the crocodile maw gapes with seventy two teeth aching, quick to tear flesh from bone, to swallow large chunks of the girls we used to be.

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Betty Stanton is a writer who lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is currently a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her work has appeared in various journals including Siren, Silver Birch Press, and Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, and is forthcoming in several other publications.

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