When she accidentally stepped on the executioner’s foot
she gasped and graciously apologized…

Perched on the edge of their rotting stools like pigeons
on the window ledges of their abandoned bakeries,
Les Trecoteuse raveled and unraveled their threadbare threads
in silence.
The usual “who’s who” was a waste as each woman could recognize
the cake batter dripping from her mouth
to the sticky urine lined streets.

The “Austrian Woman” tried to become one of them. She was hard pressed for acceptance.
Still. Still after 23 years, she balanced atop her mocking post
where silk buckle shoes drown in the blood of her severed husband.
Splotches of rust and dust ate away at the intricate designs through the eyelets
where laces should have been.
A revolutionary stripped his former queen of preciousness.
He tore through whatever represented the wealth of the privileged-
boot laces spun in gold,
her ragged Fontange, where a single alouette feather remained
caught between the mousy grey locks
and broken wires that no longer measured two feet high.
Luxuriously, the revolutionary threw them over the scaffolding to join
the King’s navy culottes.


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