By my sidelong glance, by my hand’s
linger—I told you my history,
of rushing home before cock crow,
of my dancing shoes worn through,
my petticoat askew.

Untied from
propriety, I shimmied
over rivers,
no fear of drowning—

this is how a lost thing
heaps fortune over her like leaves,
eats her way out of a tower of cakes—

my hair grew as long as needed,
or I cut it loose and spun a coat,
under which I passed as a youth,
new to the world and unstubbled,
the one who delighted the bored,
amorous duke.
It isn’t that I loved him, but
no one else presented.

Sincere apologies for this wayward
tale, this hand that travels
along your breeches.
The shy of me is buried in a crystal box,
evidenced by this hole I carry
dangling from my wrist.

- Rebecca Hazelton, “Bloom Upon the Mountain—Faded”
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