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Poetry—'Act V'

I'm dating Hamlet. He calls me "whore"
when he empties himself into me. Writhing
beneath me until the final spasm. I am his
wild Ophelia, his girl with too many petticoats.
They weigh me down every Friday morning
and I sink like the Titanic on my own maiden voyage.
He is Lord of the Californian, never J.J. Astor.
Both of us go down. I come first. He brands me
as one of his conquests and I am marked for life.
My name is pricked. like so many others.
His office is my Capital and I wait to be betrayed.
With a kiss.

CASSANDRA ATHERTON is a Lecturer in Literary Studies and Creative Writing at Deakin University. She has published a book of poetry, After Lolita (Ahadada Press, 2010); a novel The Man Jar, (Printed Matter Press, 2010) and is the editor of the Victorian edition of the International journal Ekleksographia. She has also written a book of literary criticism, Flashing Eyes and Floating Hair: A Study of Gwen harwood's Pseudonymous Poetry (Australian Scholarly Press, 2017). She is writing her second novel, Cherry Bomb, set in Japan after receiving a fellowship to study the floating world and her book of interviews with American public intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, Camille Paglia and Harold Bloom is forthcoming from Australian Scholarly Press.