when i am emily dickinson


Three rows behind this white coffer

I bite my frosting tongue

To efface this May funeral

Away from my own

I have never known the sound of heaven

Until one novice struck it like a gunner

During the holy foxtrot of perfumed water

Its chords, syrupy and tired, almost opened

My tight collar – a war of empty saddened zones

Against the mayor of my heart

I falter. Rejecting the hum

Of tulips and dandelions

Dreaming the corner of my musty room

Above the parlour

Where Mary Queen of Scots ghosts

The zombies of Amherst

Above their flimsy chatter

Where I used to slit pages

Like I did their throats

In hollows raw of dust

Nestling on the shell of my white dress

My candled chamber

Where my breath sketched life

In tender arabesque

And where my Archer hands

Tickled demons

And wedded Valentines under the ashened moon

Here I cry to my sweet demise.

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