Issue 8,  Poetry

Every Inch by Juliette van der Molen

one last letter, addressed
to my royal brother, one last
signature to append. i scratch
words slow, deliberate as the
feet shuffle and men mumble
outside the door that separates
me from what they believe must
be certain doom. suddenly
rushed though they haven taken
years to take measure, to find
the exact coordinates to place
me in the careful square of the scaffold.

stripped of my son, my kingdom,
my god given right to rule, they enjoy
this pulling apart, dogs jaws shaking
a long awaited toy. you will deny me
a priest in one last twist, another blow
meant to cut me down to size. but in my
end is my beginning, and you cannot
strip me of faith and dignity.

I emerge, 
a prince standing tall,
above slander and sister. 
a pale jewel,
regal in velvet, 
sleeves sweeping stone
to part the sea 
of those intent
on condemning me. 

a white veiled death march, 
crucifix to hand, 
you will banish every artefact
to stop the faithful martyring me, 
but you will never strip me of the fact
that I die every inch—
             A QUEEN.

____________________________________________________________

Juliette van der Molen is an ex-pat poet living in Wales. She is an intersectional feminist and member of the LGBTQ+ community. Her work has appeared in The Wellington Street Review, Nightingale & Sparrow, Burning House Press and several other publications. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2018) and Best of The Net (2019). Juliette is also the Poetry Editor for Mookychick Magazine. She is a spoken word performer and has had the honour of appearing in several venues in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her books include: Death Library: The Exquisite Corpse Collection, Mother May I? and  Anatomy of A Dress. 

You can connect with her via Twitter @j_vandermolen

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