Conjoined* by Erin Vance

*After Leonora Carrington’s The Pleasant Ladies of the Tarot, 1956.

The elder sister
eats a bloated honeybee,
pinches it between her fingers,
brings it to her lips, and sucks
it down her throat, stinger
and all.

The corseted moon
lobotomized her
and crowned her sister.

They wear a cape of hairy caterpillars
stitched together.

The elder is like a marionette:
a queen of spiders.
The younger glows regal.
She has no need for hands.

Pareidolia: their only company.
The tissue where they hinge
is their only comfort.

The spiders knit them further
into each other,
cocooning them.

Despite the faces they find in everything,
all they have is each other.

Erin Vance

Erin Emily Ann Vance's work has appeared in numerous publications, including Contemporary Verse 2 and filling Station. Erin was a 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She holds an MA in Creative Writing and will begin an MA in Irish Folklore and Ethnology at University College Dublin in 2019. Her debut novel, Advice for Amateur Beekeepers and Taxidermists will be published by Stonehouse in 2019 and her second poetry chapbook The Sorceress who Left Too Soon: Poems after Remedios Varo will be published by Coven Editions in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erinemilyann.

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