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Alice Meets Clara


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From my "Poet Through the Looking Glass" series, mostly inspired by Stephanie Bolster's White Stone collection. I always like to see what happens when literary characters meet outside their own worlds.


In Which Alice Meets Clara



They meet at a café years later,

Clara having flown in from Strasburg

for the Christmas holiday.

Alice orders tea and shows Clara

how to make it the Russian way.

Lemon slice in the bottom,

No milk. No sugar.

They enjoy the aging quality

of bitterness together.



Alice tells stories from Oxford.

They talk about Leopold and

Princes who promise a dance

and then come up wooden

with mice hanging over their shoulders.

And of course, there are those

Sugar Plum fairies waiting

for their cue. This time there



are no photographers bearing

riddles. None of Herr Drosselmeier’s

dolls with ugly yawning jaws

and silk capes. Their Wonderlands

have faded, leaving small pieces

of soul under glass, captured in

a pose, in a movement of the arms.



They speak of a past Clara can’t

quite remember. The name

‘Marie’ and a rat with seven heads.

Swords striking through the heel

of a silk slipper. Blood dripping

on a glass cabinet. Alice also


has images that pass

with the whir of a shutter. A dark

room that eludes exposure.

After the pot is emptied they tumble

out into the street. Spinning each other

round in the wet white snow,


they re-enact a pas de deux

in glorious lack of form.

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I guess it would be better if one were familiar with the characters that you're writing about here. :mellow:



I can't complain too much though.

After all, you included me in that piece. :scratch:







with mice hanging over their shoulders.



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