1780 c/o Owen Vince

Your letters were thick
with the promise of it ; I could almost
feel the fat weight
between my fingertips. Fool's gold,
a diamond larger than
your lung. It was almost too good
to be true.
It wasn't true.

          They came for me
at the Feast of the Assumption.
I was hauled off
of my innocence. I'd sculpted
the Queen's hand on paper.
A forger's ghost-written pulse
on the page. She was furious,
her neck scored with little lines
where she wore her broach, even
in her beautiful sleep. Milk white -
that's what I thought
about her skin, blushed with anger
and righteous conviction.

          They dragged me
to my prison like that. It wouldn't be long
before la Roi, our Queen
would live there too, beside me -
stripped of her fine lace,
and that necklace line across her neck
                    would be traced
                                        by a real and heavy blade.