A change could be a bloom

as well as a withering.


Her half‐world suspended between

two superstructures: a mystique of waxed floors

and shattered mirrors, spiderwebbed with cracks.


On the rim of her sky

were only hints of sunrise,

like goldfish swimming in ink.


No one was disturbed

by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones,

the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils,

the movements of her braid.


She bleached out herself, gradually

the way of old photographs, in a slow bath of acid:

first moles and pimples, then her shadings and face,

until nothing remained but general outlines;

a wax doll to stick pins into.


by Andrea Starr Pelose


The above poem is a cento poem that experiments with lines from novels, manipulating them, and thus creating a new work of poetry. A list of the works used can be provided upon request.

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