The Queen Unmasked

by Alexandra Seidel


Remember that queen that found her beauty
bundled tightly in a carpet?
Venice is a strange place, whenever I hear it
I think: masks!
But it is not disguise that walks plain here, no,
Venice is a habitat of bridges.

Remember that queen
folded in cloth.
Cross a bridge, link two worlds;
stand on a bridge when the moon goes up
and be wedded to her;
travel beneath bridges
to the rivers of the underworld.

Remember the seductress
woken as the carpet tumbled.
Give me journeys! I called to the Fates in prayer
but journeys are not for giving, they need
to be taken, won, wanted
like wings want wind and air.
I sat like dreaming in the boat
when the bow broke water
like friends break bread
passing beneath a thirteenth bridge.

Remember the queen that won eternity
breathing through the thickness of this fabric.
Here is the darkness where apples grow red, and here
is the light that feeds the dead; unroll
the reality of me
on the soil of this new, this oldest of old lands.
All dreams are shadows here, dead before they were born
into reality, all reality
casts a shadow here, an afterimage of itself.
The sky is diamondstrewn and moonbare, sunbarren.
I am found, the carpet fallen
like clouds around me.

###


Alexandra Seidel dabbles in the alchemy of words. The results are less metallic, more inky: you can read them at places like Lackington's, Mythic Delirium, Strange Horizons, and others. If so inclined, you can follow Alexa on Twitter (@Alexa_Seidel) or read her blog: www.tigerinthematchstickbox.blogspot.com.

web design © mitchell hart