Queen (9-10 p.m., Eastern Standard Time)

Original Text: 
Margaret Christakos, What Stirs (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2008): 17.
1I was just trimming the beard about my sex
2(Sorry if you did not know royal women do this)
3And nipped in error the skin between my mound and
4Thigh, a tissue cleavage as soft and unhurt
5As any among my husband's old properties. An alcohol
6Pad is there pressed, and stings me, burns
7Bacterial moat-hoppers that could get excited
10Me, that the belt is the equal of one hundred
11Warships in the South Pacific. He boasts
12I am lucky. When I first eyed the silver scissor
13I thought to slice my wrist, but a vast canopy
14Of solitude brought me to my vanities, and how
15My fusspot maidens were having tea just then. To groom
16Any part of my own flesh is sure subversion. So
17I choose the nearest I can pinch to my blackish


8] velveteen: velvet-like fabric made from cotton, not silk. Back to Line
9] course: barter, exchange. Back to Line
18] commode: a "small article of furniture enclosing a chamber utensil; a close-stool" (OED). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Margaret Christakos and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from her in writing.