Back there, someone crowned me.
Yes, me! — Where do you think
I got these carnations?
I’d like to unclaim candidacy,
but there’s already a Klimtish woman
threading my hands with rings while
someone calls for shin ribbons.
A man cradling five pincushions
coaxes my sclerae to bloom.
I enter on a bridge of hands.
Dozens, it seems, press my midriff,
and thumb my hair.
What’s this? Only halfway
to the stage, and they’re dragging
dimes from my curls. Too much
I feel myself kick —
When I find my way home,
you’ll have many questions, like:
Out so late? Tea, my love?
Darling, where are your shoes?
I’ll promise to explain later,
complain of a headache —
could be the cold, or the hour,
or maybe the wind,
rattling the coin slot
wedged between my eyes.
Christianne’s chapbook “Oracle Smoke Machine”, a collaboration with painter Stephen Proski, is forthcoming with Staircase Books (Cambridge, MA). Her work has been published by Rust + Moth, The Lakeshore Review, Fahmidan Journal, and Panel Magazine. She is a graduate of the Boston University MFA program, the recipient of an Academy of American Poets University Prize, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow.