“Pick up the lacy bones of summer,”
you said. “Lay them on my grave
below the window of the cottage where I was born
and don't look back as you exit the gate.
Lover, never give the sun a reason to set,
melt its curses upon your spine.
Never give the sun a reason to die.
Lover, walk away now and never look back.”
Oh and I've kept my promise until recently.
I've filed your name; your identity,
fingerprints in a manila folder and
locked it away in a cabinet with a dragon key,
never to be opened; the lock, a combination,
blood code known only by me.
Frozen flower, I've kept you
hidden in the far recesses
of my crystal cave memory
until I saw your twin, reincarnated in 1886.
Can you tell I'm me when
you sit down to tea at a stylish cafe,
look over and see a stranger in a dove grey suit,
reading the newspaper;
his homburg pulled low, covering
his bright phoenix eyes?
Can you tell I'm here only for you;
my lily-white death,
infectious, a childhood spring
crush I never outgrew?
Oh I bet you don't, my bittersweet darling..
I bet you don't know anything about
the workings of this new mind; this dead
autumn leaf heart, now muted,
silent beneath my London clothes.
Oh I'm fine with that..
You don't have to recognize the past
to hate it so much, trust me.
I'd rather you met me again;
like me as I am now, without
a Venetian mask, a crucifix
tattooed on my flesh, signifying that
I'm damned, a fugitive of the church.
No, I don't want you to make his acquaintance,
the lesser of my two identities.
Darling, I'd rather introduce myself again
beneath a moss-covered balcony.
Moon-faced darling; I'd rather
lay champagne orchids on your doorstep,
dodge your father's carriage
as he rounds the corner,
snapping the reins mercilessly
against his poor mare's coat.
Oh he can have his gossip,
his Russian cigar lies and
“noble” rules of conduct.
He can say what he wants about my life
without a shred of proof, throwing out
a list of crimes that he's certain
I've committed in the dead of
an unwanted orphan-train night.
But there's one thing your father
can never steal; the truth,
buried in my raven bones.
“We can't run forever,” you say,
playing hide-and-seek with me
around this dystopian city.
Darling, yes we can..
Just watch and see;
I can make time stop by tipping this hourglass over,
causing summer to freeze in winter's wake; create
fake glass-stained angels,
crumbling in snow on a Fourth of July Wednesday.
With you by my side,
running over cracked St. John's Street,
I can be anything; a wizard, painting
the sky royal purple
like the bruise on my arm,
a thief surviving by the tragic
light of lampposts and
I can even be human; capable of warmth,
because your laughter;
sweet fairy giggle, is only a breath away.
Darling, take my hand
because even the softest brush of
your fingers on my skin;
seashell-toned and snow-rabbit
cold, is enough to keep me from
dissipating in the air like
Japanese perfume; samurai
blood-drops and cherry blossoms,
notes of copper and innocence gone.
Luckless and insecure,
you see yourself as merely a trapped girl,
waiting for the day when
society will open its doors and welcome
a female doctor into the dangerous world
of healers and non-saints.
Darling, you think nobody understands you
but you're not so much a martyr as a pioneer,
a newcomer to this uncharted territory;
19th Century crosses burning as religion fails
to enlighten and science gives birth
to heroes, heroines alike.
Don't they see how brilliant you are;
a Saratoga mermaid among Westminster chaps?
You don't need a man to make you feel strong
or a degree to prove how smart, special you are.
If there's anyone who I know is
a fighter, a revolutionary rebel
beneath her sunset smile; it's you, girl.
Nobody believes you can do things
until you do and you're able
to prove to them how wrong they were;
misleading, scared but firm.
Nobody knows what it's like
until they slip on our shoes, girl.
Is it crazy to love someone
so impenetrable, unstoppable
in her pursuit of freedom?
Perhaps, my steam-punk darling..
You're like a freight-train;
modern grace, fierce, but
at the same time; your wisteria
blue eyes are too electrifying,
tempting to ignore.
Darling, give me a little time
and I'll show you
I'm not a fraud.
They say I don't have a heart,
they say that I should return
to the old world where I belong.
Oh but they're dead wrong..
My place is here in
this new golden age.
My future is you, factory rose.