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No. 24

Pale Queen

Amy Gerstler

Her sovereignty.  Your poverty.  Her mocha-
nippled majesty.  All her faults, those small
assaults.  Her kisses, which taste of ancient faiths.
Pray don’t reproach her, imprisoned as she is
in her latest incarnation, dazed by pent up
scents that waft from her hair as she unwinds it
at night.  When she asks “do I look like a harlot
in this dress?” insist that’s ridiculous.  When she
inquires if pin curls make her a dead ringer
for some medieval Spanish rabbi, better not
laugh if you value This Unnatural, Utterly
Lovely Woman, who drowned her child in a pond
five lives ago, such was the distracted state
of her mind: I cannot pray, and can never repent . . .

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