first poem: the last pavilion

Even the cutting is in place

and the lattice constrains her like a corset

like white hands among white satin tying

her hair up for the providence ball;

and later, uglier hands untying the same

ice curls for the providence music in the dark

Still, she is the rose garden even with

this music, even with foreign rock one-decade old,

even with the odd stereotypes;

she is Still, and she is timeless

she is maidens, she is conquest, she is the

rise of nation foam—silently—

unhinge the rhyme and come in closer—

she is in the last pavilion and

they walk by

like she does not exist

like she is the thing they

want to forget

touch me, mother, she whispers; and I

will speak for you, I will be the rival of your brilliance

‘shhh,’ they say and

castrate her

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