We made leather rabbit headgear
out of discarded calves’ heads,
a smirk of lipstick across the
dried, dark, gummy mouths
to mimic nights of red wine,
stapled Victorian clothes to
our chimneysweeps’ bones,
carried pigs’ heads handbags beneath
giant black-beetle shell shawls.

We strangled each other as we
gave birth to long knives
under dead milk moons
on the animal of our backs
having lived our childhoods
secreted in brown leather suitcases,
hidden from the wet nurse
whose dead wings clung like
unborn creatures on the lumpy
rolling skin of her fleshy back
and her naked tobacco breasts hung
flat against her shrivelled, exposed lungs.

For we are all born from
the one hag’s hunchback
and we will all drown in
the dank river in which she bathes,
and if you go down
to the woods tonight
you’d better not go alone,
and if you go to sleep tonight
you’d better go in disguise.