I was the highwayman riding hard through inky nights, for the one gone mad with longing.
The devoted who prepared your bed for sleep. Skirt of jet beads scallop-stitched over silk,
and under, silk rustles against my boot.
Damascene like waters of a tarn, wide embroidered panels of leaves sewn thickly, and from each shoulder, soft suggestion of forest floor. Sleeves accept outsized cuffs of pleats, bound at the wrists as if by an embouchure.
When I enter the room, claret is paused before parted lips, wrought iron lamp surrenders its spill. I need no bell, no whip, no horse’s tail.
I am your black tulip in the garden. Dark soul, only one of us sure of this world.
“I like a good Grimm tale” is attributed to Alexander McQueen; the poem is after an ensemble from his collection Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, autumn/winter 2002-03.
Originally published in Ricochet Review.