Frippery and Demise
Always imaginative, sometimes
imaginary, we tied thin red ribbons
around our necks in honor of you :
the necklace of blood that bloomed
at the Revolution. Pristine and filthy
you wore the ocean in your hair.
From youth we learn to manipulate
and adorn the female form. Ball gowns,
afternoon dresses, robes and petticoats
in a score of delicate shades, the silks
embroidered with floral designs and
silk ribbon appliqué, the borders trimmed
with serpentine garlands of silver and gold
lace, fields of artificial flowers, feathers,
tassels and silk ribbon bows, rosettes
and ruffles, passementerie and beading and metallic fringe.
Even for a queen, your trousseau was a spectacular one.
Covered in sapphires on your coronation,
the weight of hair and dress held you down.
Your face seemed the midpoint between
top of the hair and hem of the gown and your neck showed
no sign of bowing under the strain.
For death you dressed in white: plum-black
shoes, a fresh white underskirt, and the immaculate chemise.
Around your neck the prettiest muslin fichus,
the ruffled linen bonnet as colorless as your hair.
A figure of pure, radiant white. The color of a ghost too beautiful.