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Silence breathes metronome
on a distant time piano;
here I sprawl,
my fracture down
ear to the ground waiting
the sound of hooves pounding
a clamor of King's horses and men
to put me back together again.

Once more to scale the wall,
wear a brush stroke smile
and a short skirt
so the boys can see
my lace panties.

Lost my virgin crown
on a back alley roof
under a shawl of stars.
Sometimes, I wonder if my prince
stole the gold for money
or a trophy case sitting
in some family room
with green shag carpet from the 60's.
Does he tell his son how to bag a bitch,
hang and skin her?

Good egg, I dipped myself
in pills and hid behind
a statue of Jesus in a cool cemetery.
The sun announced the hunt and
I landed in a sterile basket,
as they sucked all the yellow vomit out.
And I wasn't whole anymore,
just white numb.

The color suited me well.
I walked down a white-washed aisle
in a white-collared church on a muddy hill.
Fashionable thorns accented the veil.
The villagers stuffed rice maggots
in my mouth and the priest closed
the door shut.

      — Jeannine A. Shackelton