Poem

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.