I want to be decked & set—
smoke rolling from my porte-cigarette,
plush as a leopard’s pelt,
decreed by royal warrant.
Knuckledust me—a bling
of cabochons like eggs—
a hatchery of bonbons
bulbous on every appendage.
O spangled, O sparkling—
drip me in onyx, pin me a wildcat
lumped with diamonds,
blunt club of the head
dewdropped in emerald, then clip
platinum lianas to my wrist.
there’s life in me yet.
Fetch my tiger lorgnette,
snap tourmaline crocodiles at my neck,
pour me into the oval yawn
of a molten gold python,
then drag me to the greenest tips
of a coral tree, let me die in peace
with the silk of a jaguar’s breath
huffing in my ear at dawn.
Sarah Holland-Batt’s most recent book is The Hazards, which won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry.