Ophelia to the Court
My shoes are unpolished, my words smudged. I come to you undressed (the lord, he whispers Smut; that man, he whispers such). I bend My thoughts, I submit, but a bird Keeps flying from my mind, it slippers My feet and sings—barren world, I have been a little minx in it, not at all Domestic, not at all clean, not at all blinking At my lies. First he thought he had a wife, then (of course) he thought he had a whore. All I wanted (if I may speak for myself) was: more. If only one of you had said, I hold Your craven breaking soul, I see the pieces, I feel them in my hands, idle silver, idle gold... You see I cannot speak without telling what I am. I disobey the death you gave me, love. If you must be, then be not with me.
Copyright © 2010 by Meghan O'Rourke. Used by permission of the author.
Born in New York in 1976, Meghan O'Rourke's first book of poetry, Halflife, was a finalist for Britain's Forward First Book Prize
Date Published: 2010-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/ophelia-court