What I know about her

She came to them eyes open, dark diamonds of curiosity

starred and blinking, you could believe she was an infant

coveted by other beings, those menacing imps,

pouring darkness in her ear, she, a changeling

who somehow knew it, mournful in perpetual moonlight,

held in the violence of her white shadows.

 

She learned to keep her anger for the

imperfect, the failed, the hateful, a child

eminently suited to a strange and formal drill

She was a fine and complicated flight of reason

a prodigal richness of design, arabesque and sublime

She’d lose herself in dancing, crossing over

to some private dimension

an extraordinary piece of elegance

made out of intractable material

floating above herself, her mind filled with

elaborate and fanciful furnishings, her close and finial edges

fluttering and not touching

Each time coming down a little trickier

like tearing the house down and

having to rebuild herself in correct proportion

to contain herself,  her energy capable of

running in so many directions

a sense that all her efforts would come to nothing,

that she fooled no one, especially the boy

in whom she saw a similar damage,

his darkness a current to feel at home in,

so together they ran off to California,

to speak Spanish and pick fruit, growing aggrieved

for their compadres, starving spectators at a lavish party,

a grievance mixed with their own misfortune until the drugs

ruined everything and the world blanked out.

 

She recovered with what effort, a wreck

of her former self, unsure of the rewards awaiting her,

donning a fierce and righteous anger, working

two octaves higher than her dull classmates and

the zombies around her in public defender’s court.

In another life she would have embraced the martyr’s beauty,

the blaze and glitter of a suffering crown

yet what I know about her is imagined:

one December day, when no one was looking,

she walked into the garage, her camarin or antechamber

her papers in order, letters sealed, she started the

engine, and turned on the gas

leaving behind her shell

 

Was she ensuring they would never forget her

a brilliant reverberation with each new ignition,

despite the reason and absolution of those letters

there would be no compromise, no comeback, final stamp,

stab at control, while spinning out of orbit

pricked on by the bad fairy, her wheel and curse:

you will sleep forever enthorned, unconsecrated

Did the violence and beauty seduce her

its bold exuberance

the final flourish of an enchanted, misshapen pearl.

Published online January 01 2012.


The Winter Issue cover image

This piece was published in ‘The Winter Issue,’ the Winter 2012 issue of CV2.

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