The White Queen



          Comes the White Queen worrying

and hurrying to keep up and losing

her hairpins. Mind pieces slip

out of their sockets.


          Because it is all held together

with hairpins —

the old kind,

meant to be invisible


          and they were invisible.

I didn’t know they were there holding

my mind together

until I started to lose it.


          Someone whose name I should remember

talks of the sweet dishevelment of love,

but this dishevelment

is not sweet.


          Or perhaps I am wrong,

perhaps I should


          no, could, because one should speak

only in possibilities not rules

but where was I


          I could perhaps experience

this dishevelment as sweet —

this mental coming apart


          or opening up, which is a more

appealing concept. The mind dropping hairpins,

not in the process of falling


          off in chunks

but of opening up.

Light through the cracks.


          So this dropping

off of things — of memory,

cleverness, concentration —

perhaps is not matter for grief but sign

of expansion.


          If poetry cannot be made,

perhaps it will come in

as a gift. Joy

creating everything,

even this.


          Even the White Queen,

silly and confused and showering

silver hairpins so beautiful and full of light.