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

tugging, clinking,

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 Goodwin

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.

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