RESURRECTION OF THE QUEEN, DROWNED AT SEA
m a t t s c h u m a c h e r ~ p l e a s a n t v a l l e y , i o w a
Sitting among the hardwood black hickory ceilings,
A grimacing queen has come to live in the attic.
Her emerald dressing gown fragrant with birth,
She has risen from a dead sea,
White coral skin like a mushroom,
Through depths of tangled kelp
And dark, acrid water.
Having come here she unlocks the doors
Of shadows to let old men, shivering from blizzards
Of the dark, come in.
It is strange to watch her from the trap door,
Busy with her wings: her headdress flying paint
Like a seraph dying in a shipwreck's fire,
Her nests are cabins built among the dust.
Frocked maidservants tend them, solemn and yellowish, drawn.
But let's not forget about famine.
The old men still are blind in the cold,
Blemished by forests of mildew, trapped
Miners frantic for their coal,
Mad with her broods:
Nurseries of trickling apricot that when eaten
Turn to glass.
This is when she buries their heads with hand-me-downs,
Old shawls like cobwebs, and newspapers
Swimming with wasps.
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