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Maria Antonia to Jeff

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

By Michaela Mayer

hands clamoring for my throat

then the blade’s sharp descent—

it was not intentional, neither

the toes nor the people, that they

should starve or be stepped upon

by my little leather slipper, but

they will say what they will

say. pay attention, monsieur:

another killing hour hums

a lilting tune in ears made ready

for revolution. yet you will not

listen. this is the difference

between us: you know what you do,

and i was an eleventh daughter

before smallpox pitted

my sister’s hold on the throne—

my life a symbol

more than anything, yours

an unkindness in motion—

mark me, monsieur, it doesn’t

end well. i tell you more for the sake

of your people than you,

but i fear it more useless

than my many powdered wigs.

do you recognize me now? yes,

you see, your ears are stopped:

what could a woman tell you,

and one from so long ago?

well then, we shall see what dark

mirror i hold up to you, how

they stream in to sever

that pendulum of indifference

from your feckless neck.


Michaela Mayer is a 26-year-old poet and educator from Virginia. Her works have previously appeared in Claw & Blossom, Perhappened, Q/A Poetry, Barren Magazine, Feral Poetry, Olit, and others. She has a forthcoming poem with Monstering Mag and can be found on Twitter @mswannmayer5. Enjoyed Michaela's work? Send a tip straight to her Venmo: @Michaela-Mayer-3

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