She shivers too easily in mid-May.
This is when he took her head off.
She looks over her shoulder too often
and feels something rise in her slender
though whether bile
tears or laughter
she can never be sure.
Centuries parade past in all
their would-be finery:
dozens of Golden Princes begat
of the sun itself
ocean-eyed and smiling
only for her
the promises of a love forsaking all others
the promises from pages of hard-won words–
the years curl them all at their edges until
they look like the threats she has come
to know them as.
She distrusts even the place
she lays her head at night
for it has been allowed her and can
disappear on the wings of the same
fickle whim that once delivered it.
An apocalypse heralded
a country rent asunder
to the tune of her heartbeat–
she was ever too small and brittle-boned
to make it alive out of such chaos.
Even now she steals glances over
waiting for the strike
waiting for her words of love to turn
to blood on her tongue
and wishing she was able to forget the taste.