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Lorna Thorpe, from Sweet Torture of Breathing

Mind, body and spirit

In the literature of self-help
there are no empty whiskey bottles,
no cigarettes rolled from fag ends
salvaged from 3 a.m. ashtrays, no fools
in love. There are relaxing bubble baths
and scented candles, of course,
there are people turning cartwheels
in the sand, women in white
boosting their immune system,
drinking Celestial Seasonings Wellness Tea
but no chipped green nail polish,
no one sitting at the dining table
with their boyfriend's daughter,
three bottles of Chardonnay down,
chair-dancing to The Supremes.
There are quests by the dozen,
heart warming tales of triumph
over tragedy but no biting satires,
no comedies of error.
There are angels, spirit guides,
and mystic healers to help you navigate
the path to peace and harmony
but no Eeyore, Scarlet O'Hara
or Don Draper. As for Madam Bovary,
she's signed up for a twelve step programme
with Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous,
where she's sharing how she gets her kicks
from romantic highs, learning that she uses
them as a way to sidestep intimacy.