Aubade for the Empresses of Angria

by Dante Di Stefano

          Reader, I married him.
          —Charlotte Brontë

          Matrimony is a serious thing.
          —Anne Brontë

          I wish I were a girl again…
          —Emily Brontë

Even in the fevered and fearing mind of a child,
even in your own worst past circumlocutions,
even muzzled and buried in the most byzantine

recesses of a derailed sentence, there is an order
that whips and drives and musters the moonlight,
rallies wonder, delivers an icepick to the eye socket

of a No; meet me under the petticoats of the ocean.
Someone’s always running down the corridor
of my heart; some key’s always turning in the lock.

Dolphins arc above the waves in my peripheral vision;
I’m on my knees screaming into the shards
of a seashell. I pray to a god who is two-thirds

pollywog; I spend my nights (lavishly, suddenly)
dreaming myself a beloved who resembles me:
I know how taut my own quivering slakes you.

There is too much to say and so little room to say it,
elklike and saturnine, endlessly jumbled and unhinged;
I lay out all my doves and attics and diamonds for you.

Dante Di Stefano is the author of Ill Angels (Etruscan Press, 2019) and Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse Books, 2016). Along with María Isabel Álvarez, he co-edited the anthology Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America (NYQ Books, 2018). He holds a PhD in English Literature from Binghamton University and is the poetry editor for DIALOGIST.

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