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Flamingo silk. New ruff,
the ivory ghost
of a halter. Chestnut curls,


commas behind the ear.
"Taller, by half a head,
than my Lord Walsingham."


His Devon-cream brogue,
malt eyes. New cloak
mussed in her mud.


The Queen leans forward,
a rosy envelope of civet.
A cleavage


whispering seed pearls.
Her own sleeve
rubs that speck of dirt


on his cheek. Three thousand
ornamental fruit baskets
swing in the smoke.


"It is our pleasure
to have our servant trained
some longer time


in Ireland." Stamp out
marks of the Irish.
Their saffron smocks.


All curroughs, bards
and rhymers. Desmonds
and Fitzgeralds


stuck on low spikes,
an avenue of heads to
the war tent.


Kerry timber
sold to the Canaries.
Pregnant girls


hung in their own hair
on city walls. Plague
crumpling gargoyles


through Munster. "They spoke
like ghosts crying
out of their graves."
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