After the announcement & its sunder,
I flood the afternoon light into knots.
Pocket a maiden name, banter into twilight &
its constituents. Mend the scratched mirror
in my hands. I limn a woodland chamber
with petals; enshrine my name with moonwater.
This is the beginning of a funeral. Eyes pacifying
water. Another princess assumes my voice and I slice
her skin to the bone. Black now and silver beads
in my throat. I harvest my lips. Tumble a path
coated with rabbit heads, broken glass
jutting from my knuckles. I limp nude
& withering below this willow tree. Light cheats
up my bones while I rue, caress the bedding
I carved in my sleep. The kingdom was
never mine. Abdication: knaving Jade
forest crowned with briars. The kingdom name
was under attack & I covetous: drift westward
downriver. Whitewater singed my lungs. Until
I translucent. I lethargy in black hair, duck egg
perching on water. Smoke envelopes my hands, gouges
them with coins, while the three-legged toad
slips into my dress. Kingdom name still tattooed on my
gums. I lick ink characters & spit them onto the dirt.
A litter of rotted teeth, worming against my tarred
lips. The toad pressing into my thigh as if
to transcribe a message, frayed.
In another life, I heave basalt up Kunlun
& hearse pebbles into the sky’s sticky mouth.