Bluebeard's First Wife

by Sarah Colona

Parchment moths and silverfish bristle
Into your mirrored cabinet.
Delicate acrobats, they
Dust epitaphs from Rx jars:
Salve as black as his heart.

My little spies 
Report one shelf cleared,
Save the rust circle 
Where shaving cream 
Sat without purpose
While its razor nicked
Our monogram into my thigh
Then forever made him a widower.

I am pleased 
The insects visit me.
To them I am 
A walled garden.
Once sustenance:
Glut and rot.

Now, you wear my ring, little girl —
As six sisters before you.

But aren't you clever
To claw his bouquet of keys.
To see the sinister gift
Others could not.

In our first weeks, he
Fed me sonnets, nectarines,
Peppered rare steaks.

I read only the future he intended
And praised his lengthening whiskers:
The shadows found there.

Sarah Colona lives in New Jersey, where she is an English Lecturer at Burlington County College. Her chapbook of poems, Thimbles, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. Her favorite fruit is the Royal Gala apple.

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