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Visitor from Overseas

Stephanie Bolster
From:   White Stone: The Alice Poems. Signal Editions/Véhicule Press, April 1998


I received an envelope from England, somewhat torn,
postage two pounds, cancellation stamped across a queen's face.
Inside brown paper, an ironmonger's plastic bag gasped
like my childhood rabbit just before it died. Unsealed,

Alice crawled out small and scraggly, arms stuck to her sides
and starved. I had no crumpets so fed her large Canadian
muffins instead, which she nibbled with admirable restraint.

Overnight while I slept she swelled, spurted in height until
I woke and found her crouched against the ceiling, learning
how to curse. I offered the entire contents of my fridge
but nothing shrank her back again, nothing until I told her

she was beautiful, her legs burnished as arbutus limbs. Curious,
she reduced herself to doorframe size, followed me to find
a land she'd never seen. There on a Pacific beach remembered:

rowing under shapely willows with a man three times her size,
who liked her little, who kept her between pages, sent her
wrapped over the Atlantic so as not to mar the idea of her
he kept under glass, scalloped like a fancy cake.



Stephanie Bolster's works copyright © to the author.


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