[after Emily Dickinson] You look up. Nothing there? A white fluffy mass? A loaf of bread? A curious animal? A woman made of cloud? If she fell like lightning would you be surprised? Do you see her, or are you blinded by the flashing of her anger in the sky?
Once there was a lady. Once there ’twas a lady. Yes, but what was she like? Shall we compare her to a summer night in Brooklyn? Or a sheet of paper on an old timey writing desk, with only a fountain pen for a friend? Then there were her horns
Horns? Yes. They stuck up from the crown of her head as she clawed the bloody sheet on her bed. What do you think she was scratching there in blue veined ink? Was it called The Girl Who Grew Antlers? And what if all her words suddenly went gray
and blew out the window? Would it be tragic that we almost knew but hadn’t quite touched her through the damp script the fog twisted across her cemetery lawns?
How she composed herself just so that we could be brought low and lifted by it Was it that the earth leaned in to feel what she felt then that made the room we imagined her in statelier? Its cozy yet open plan drew
to it and distilled words. And these echoes of her torn gown trailed off to heaven like angel robes time swept away
leaving her standing naked above us, a mad queen who’d take the world adown a notch in her satin hand, and walk the aisle
terrible as the dawn, with strength she had so long withheld. How can we not look upon her beauty and despair? How can we not be the perfect children of her majesty?
-- J Pascutazz is a non-binary writer with Asperger’s syndrome. Raised in rural Ohio. Graduate of Bennington College. Resident of Brooklyn. Published by Miracle Monocle, Cleaver, Frigg, and others. A chapbook, ‘Lichen Land,’ was published by The Operating System in 2020