Three Queen Poems

Taisia Kitaiskaia



Does the green dress sheath Herself,

brain included? Married others

shift limb to limb, parakeets on a wire.


Madrigal, bloodrigal, chattering goblets,

was she Herself? Who Who, Queen

lowed across the fields. I must hoard


in my nest quarks, physics, bites

of self on self in furs, potpies, till my

things and I are one sleeping orange,


our nightmares lame ponies with death

spots in the hooves. She might, yes,

invite a lady to creep her palace,


breed children for her, as a snake…

Queen, a false flower shedding paper

petals, shooting down the clouds


which frowned her. Bosom heaving

at the sight of puddings laid out, bombs

crouching in gelatin. Off she sneaks,


tail in a demon’s belly, digesting.

If all is orb, Queen is a spade poking,

a painful grass in ether. Circled


by others, theatre of moons, melting

ice cream, their party-dancing spins

a top: baby, queen molting into sugar.



To be sure, a dead rat will drop

from the cupboard. It is certain,

the sink’s juices make snakes.


Outside, trees do not communicate.

Disease and leaves design the same.

Clouds have no harnesses, no desire


to break. No birds sing of mammoths

just for her; no mammoth will carry

Queen off. Each creature is a wall,


ornate, guard of nothing. When fleas,

seals, and barnacles speak at once,

that is the best the world can do.


Cacophony is crown, the rest is dim.

Queen removes her bloated dress,

her bloated skin. Pulls them on again.




Queen calls her royal gods to hall.

How terrible terrible to be oneself,

she prances. We gods nod. One god

is insects. Another—fox vomiting

into a fox coat. This, sandpaper,

maybe pyramid. Egg ecstatic. Q

punches gong, runs to the pond.


Queen’s robes are so long. Roll

beyond, coattails pinned to land.

Ungulates chew shrub-cathedrals

in her shawl, hoof the back. Spots

stampede, neon-green with avarice,

envy, pity. Herding purple-yellow

flowers. Q’s robe-road grooves,

shouting with trampled water.


But where is Queen? Is she with us,

in the hall? No—she is on the Great

Lemon Boat of Suffering. But near?

No—worshipping a glamorous potato,

its princess hair. But is she—? No.

At the locust dinner. Inside hot

nostrils, she inhales, inhales the Earth.