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—