HANNAH CRAIG

 

Undoing Martha

She asks you to cover her with seashells
and a layer of shellac,
layering pink next to oyster blue.

She says,
"Open your mouth,
I am a flowerpot."

You break the ironstone, the creamware,
the Wedgewood pitcher in your haste
to spread her out on the table,
to cut the shape of her
into the yellow chartreuse,
into the champagne-
stained mahogany.

She asks if you are planning
an intimate gathering,
just your thumb inside her mouth,
her body bow-strung and flustered
or an informal buffet
where she will be served with
plum sauce and garlic butter,
tasted by two hundred assembled
guests who are not terribly original
in their search for gratification.

She asks,
"Have you remembered to pull the shades?
I do not want our colors to fade
in the sunlight."

Afterwards, there will be nothing but the room
and her tongue clicking
as she sorts out the source of shadow
and the shape for a new bedstead.