1542 c/o J. Bradley

February 14, 1542

The pike holds Catherine's head like an inverted exclamation point. I watch for the women who stare into her eyes, calculate what kind of love would be worth wearing the guillotine like a cheap brooch.

I've gotten really good at plucking married women like posies, their necks nesting all of my promises until they sour into bruises, before broken bottles teethe their faces and breasts. After that happens, I kiss them like a Dear John letter; I still can't remember my real name.

Before this day is over, I will find another wedding ring to orbit, another woman to leave buried in a shallow notch.