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Betty Stanton is a writer who lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work has appeared in various journals including Reservoir and Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and is forthcoming in several other publications and anthologies. She received her MFA from The University of Texas at El Paso.
Lear's Daughters
By Betty Stanton

This is where it happens, where it always has. This home
where, as girls, we moved together, shared one bed, 
our two small bodies shaking with snores. He opened the door, 

always quiet, the skim of his hand over water, to watch us
rocking, one against the other. We pushed at the wheel 
of a dreamcatcher, wrote our wishes across its corded spiderweb

together, the chill from his empty bed stretching abandoned
between us. We dreamt together, crossed oceans, galloped
through deserts. This is where. It happens at the party, he plans

to carve up his kingdom, his riches, the thick bread used 
to plate meat, the scraps thrown to the dogs. The door is open, 
people thick under our feet on this last cold day. We are packed 

tight between thin walls, our conspiracy a whisper, soft, 
from your lips to mine. We watched his fall, made all our 
plans together. You speak first, hoarse with promises, and I 

am made of the self-same metal. Who do we cast aside? We make 
our moves together. When you bring me your poison, I drink.
Meeting Dr. George Tiller
By Betty Stanton

I have no problems with abortion, I lie 
and the interview is over. Ten years later

he will be gunned down on a Sunday morning 
during the weekly service at his church, but today

he is professional, rushed. I ask him for anesthesia  
and wake up four hours later in the recovery room, 

wait two hours before I drive myself home. Later, 
all I remember is the anesthesiologist asking me 

to count with him, One hundred, ninety-nine, 
ninety-eight – and aching. He went to church

wearing body armor. I imagine he was careful, 
meticulous, can see him assembling the vest 

with surgical precision – the ballistic panels sliding 
into the carrier, strike face away from his body, 

adjusting the straps himself until his vital organs, 
his heart was secure. The bullet was point-blank 

to the head. I imagine his blood, a nimbus halo 
spreading out across the white tiled entryway.
Lady Macbeth, Forgetting Her Lines
By Betty Stanton

A noise backstage, a phone buzzing, scenery 
moved too loudly. She looks into the blue lights 
of the first electric and - 
               Come, you spirits -- and then nothing but
               terror turning that dagger in her stomach. She can
               hear everything. The audience’s held breath, her own
               pulse pounding a traitor’s marching line beneath her skin. 
Her husband’s boots turn on polished cherry. He watches 
from the wing, waiting. On stage she waits too. 
Nothing comes. 
               One heartbeat. 
Mascara and sweat trace a slow roll down 
the dun of her cheeks. Come, you spirits that 
tend on mortal thoughts. She has played this part 
before. The show has been open three days. She learned 
this monologue first, and still -- 
               Unsex me here. Her teeth tear into the soft orchid 
               of her lip until she tastes blood, coppery rich, and 
               the world slows to the frustrated groans 
               of the audience, a woman in the second row, 
               complaining louder than the rest.