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for Olaf Stapledon

Oh Marlene on the wall: I made you
the angel of your own night sky, glow
(in the dark) brighter than city stars (glitch
-ing streetlights) and closer. Flashbulb celebrity
nebula ready for close-up, the moon's circum-
ference measuring up to a meteor's, similar
to Saturn's. You're encircled by this yearning
to lift the roof & be in among the weather
of the (that [real]) world: walls fall, nightmare
papier mâché melts to let in something stranger—
cat-footed—that holds its breath and stalks
my hurting heart. Oh Marlene, among (other) stars,
(only) in the time we have to live (here) in the dark.

Sophie Mayer is the author of three poetry collections: Her Various Scalpels, The Private Parts of Girls, and Kiss Off, and co-editor of campaigning poetry anthologies, Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot and Binders Full of Women. She lives in London where she teaches Creative Writing, including the Science Fiction MA, at the University of Middlesex. She is the editor of There She Goes: Feminist Filmmaking and Beyond.
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