poem: Let Them Eat Cake

I am Elizabeth the first, sitting in dirty bathwater

with rotting teeth, rubbing my hands between

my legs because there are no men: I am tired of being Virgin Queen.

I am Bloody Mary, I am wailing in the antechamber,

the rosary beads dancing like knocked-off heads

after the ax cuts—one, two, three. Despite what they tell you, it takes

many swings, many stabs, before the head falls

away with chunks of skin still loosely attached.

I am Elizabeth of York,

bleeding virgin into my bed, twisting to bleed quieter after sex,

my husband already gone, already with someone else. I am Marie Antionette,

stepping into the clouds, watching my falling head: the jagged

edges of the throat look almost like fruit pie, like something the patisserie might

have made for my death-day. I am prettier than Kirsten Dunst, please. I ruined

a kingdom, I ruined a man.

Do you hear us? We are wailing—

we are

women, waiting.

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