Burne-Jones Illo
Three Graces - Edward Burne-Jones


by Daniel Weinshenker


Grafitti on chandeliers,
finger-painted diamonds
no longer sparkle.

A baby mobile hangs suspended from the ground
while Catholic schoolgirl walks
a tightrope sidewalk.
Uniform dusty, hair in braids 
lapping and twisting about each other,
coming slowly undone.

White blouse
blue skirt pleated everywhere.

Inside those folds, beneath
the pressed flats, sealed
by hot steam and
spraycan starch,
curl answers.

The first time mom put them in the dryer 
they shrunk.  
The lint screen is full.

She'll never look, though.
           never peel back the skin on her thighs
           never drink from the bottle
           or dig-up her grandfather's bones.

Just remain fixed on that echo 
paper mache alter boys
carousel chandelier
throwing colors round,
while tightrope walking 
all the way home.


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