Maria Antonia Von Hapsburg Recalls the Day She Lost Her Name
In a whalebone cage I stood, ringed
by my skirt-hoops, draped in ropes
of pearls. Underneath: a blank
slate. My pulse thudded in the ribs
of the makeshift chapel—the alien rain
drove down upon us and the walls
of it flexed, a cavernous humid lung.
Droplets ran down my face, streaking
the powder, rinsing away
the Archduchess and inking in
shadows: a stand of birches, glimpse of a stag. . . .
I go to bed every night a mere
girl, wake up an animal, like a leopard, something
rampant. Then I wake again as Marie,
and know it is day.
In dreams I do terrible things and am beloved for them.
In dreams nothing bores me.
What miracles I achieve in dreams I take as a matter of course.
Miranda Gaw writes from Brooklyn. Her poems have appeared in Sybil's Garage, Goblin Fruit, Kaleidotrope, Cabinet des Fees, Sawbuck, and the Swarthmore Review.