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Regina Cordium by Brian Comber

just after dawn and
Lizzie Siddal throws back her head,
the air crackles about her shoulders,

his breath is rank from neglect as he
settles her pose,
while costers swear in the square below,

shouting smut like a pack,
drizzle blends with steam
from the viaduct, London settles to work; 

she picks at the oils beneath her fingernails
and longs to be at her table to paint herself out,
with a nest of opiate pearls

he imagines her in rich fabrics,
a parable of auburn, russet, sunset, titian
taking her hair in his stained fingers

looking for the colours beyond,
faceless men press in, asking for the model,
as if viewing the great whale at Cromwell Road,

he springs up and paces the floor,
places a lily in her waiting hand,
she imagines a poker,

hours pass
they near the surface,
he as a duckling, she a pike.

---

Brian lives in Worcestershire England and writes poems and short stories, performing occasionally at Worcester spoken word events. Brian has had flash fiction published in Black Pear press anthologies, he has also had poetry accepted for publication with Picaroon poetry, Prole poetry, The Beach Hut, The Gentian journal, Selcouth Station and Contour online magazine.

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