Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window

There are 33 bobby pins
placed strategically in my hair.
You cannot see, but,
my toe, the right one, is planted firmly,
but not too firm as to show my effort,
on a curling blue X, meant to mark,
without even the slightest misstep,
exactly what a woman like me,
standing in the long history of women, drinking
the pen of love, is meant to be —

can you see the ripe horizon
through this open window?

I wonder, feet planted,
lips taught with powder, curled ringlets
itching the rouge of my cheeks
how long I will stand here while they stare
so long at my white eyes.
They focus lovingly on the detail
captured by Johannes’ golden hand,
perhaps until they realize
that I cannot read.

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