His grandeur. Breastplate gleaming in the sun
His stiff vermilion plumes that flout the breeze.
Stiff necked silk potentates down on their knees.
He rides. He is inferior to none
She slept in ash unwashed that greyed her skin,
too proud to whore, humbled enough to beg
Malachite dagger silk-strapped to her leg.
Watches him pass. And he mistakes her grin.
Halts, dismounts, kneels. Offers Zeneliphone
his hand. He thought he’d never take a bride.
Men think their fate known. Goddesses decide
who punish. He is gone with one small groan.
Proud lords who conquer burn destroy take note.
A beggar maid once cut Cophetua’s throat.