Pre-war muslin blushes over dusk silk,
Hidden silver carriage encages sternum to mons,
Bodice & skirt color of milky tea spilled
Onto Ceylon plantation parchment, into hourglass outline
Whose arms are a girl’s which flow in a movement
The foreigner thinks indecent, zarabande.
He sips, & ships. Handel slows it to a drawing room vibrato
In plain sight of stays & crushed blossoms.
Funnel neck filled with chrysanthemums, peonies, allium,
From the sleeves, too, they tumble & decay
Out of the earth’s trench, & for a moment
They lift their unmasked lavish faces.
Originally published in POOL.
Nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize.