My part to play the princess:
twenty-four folds of my whitest dress,
field of dandelions flowering from my skin,
dozen dozing doves to trim.
Should they startle, I will be revealed.
Where is my cloudy crown,
my wreath of cotton? Garlanded body,
I am entitled to more
than downy dresses filled
with seeds. For before the birds
nested in my chest,
rainwater fell from my face.
I was not numinous,
I was entirely clear.
Now milk runs from me, for the birds
to lap with their little tongues,
for the weedy dandelions to wash in.
Every recess preened:
my part to play the princess.
Now I am entitled to make
a metaphor so white
that you could whip through it
like wind and fill the air
with feathers or flowers.