The Unguessable Country of Marriage
Do not hang the bloody sheets, the sign
of a virginity so recently ruptured,
a red ribbon like the memory of a wound
only a little out of tune. The sea
has changed key—it must be near
morning. Gift of crystallized fruit,
of couloured stones, pelts of dead beasts.
Undertakers’ lilies with the heavy
pollen that powders your fingers as if
you had dipped them in turmeric.
How the thick glass distorted their fat
stems, possessed of that strange
ominous calm of a pond iced thickly over.
I smelled the amniotic salinity of the sea
that, in time, will cleanse everything.
All lines taken from Angela Carter’s story “The Bloody Chamber.”
Genevieve Betts is the author of the poetry collection An Unwalled City (Prolific Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in The Tishman Review, Hotel Amerika, The Literary Review, NANO Fiction, and in other journals and anthologies. She teaches creative writing for Arcadia University’s low-residency MFA program and lives in Santa Fe.