“Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc
as she came riding through the dark.”
She is the handmaiden to
a king who would have her
head on a pike unless there
is a story to beguile him.
Every night she must transform
herself into something new
to satisfy his urges, becomes
a dream object in someone else’s
mind as flammable as celluloid,
as flimsy as gauze.
A sword is her chosen weapon
but when that fails to please,
she uses it to end her life.
A severed head on a platter is
a role that can only be played
once, like dreaming of seeing
your perfect body reflected in
a pool and drowning trying to
Play acting as a saint, as the chosen
one, becomes less of a reward than
a sacrifice, like being burned alive
twice, once on the screen, the other
in the tabloids.
Denied her essence, even a child,
her birthright, herself, she becomes
a back seat baby in an abandoned
car, a woman everyone sees only
when she becomes invisible.