Are You Naive Enough To Be A Wife?
for Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Was wantonness weakened by a whalebone
cage? Did it waft from breasts exposed by stays?
Were gasps ecstatic, laced into a cone
of gold brocade, of girls around your age,
strategically displayed modest charms,
lithe arms in chintz — an innocence you must
always evince, of convent or a farm,
both unaware and unalarmed of just
how many eyes apprise what swells and cleaves,
your dress is formed to advertise? Perchance
to win a wealthy life. Are you naïve
enough to be a wife — en manse, belle dance
in pageantry, piety, etiquette,
pretend no one yet has made you wet?
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Rhysling-nominated sonnet stalker with sonnets in magazines like Glass, Yes Poetry, Five:2:One, Luna Luna, and more. She is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Dewy Decimals (Arkay Artists, 2020). WEB TWITTER