Red on purple against white:
but what's a pin-prick
when my body is covered in bruises?
Voices hem me in,
fingers prod, not caring
if white silk or skin is pinched.
I shiver in the room's warmth,
disorientated by the storm
that drenched me here.
Joints ache: bone wearing on bone.
Twenty-one mattresses made a bedtower.
Fear of falling tossed and turned me
my teeth rattled like dried peas.
I came out mottled black and blue.
Was told I'd passed their test.
Now am being squeezed into this bedsheet length
pearl-laden wedding dress.
I'm told he's tall dark and handsome
and I hope this kingdom's big enough
for the both of us.