Ophelia

By Hannah Hinsch

(featured image: pinterest)

Bemired, your neck strangled with lobelias,

I see your pallor staring starkly back at me

from every swimming hole, from every pool, Ophelia.

       -“The Broken Doll,” Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (translated from Irish)

Willow branches scratched

wrists and dug deep

into that empty space

reserved for your

midnight-sweat, when

your hot doubts

exhaled poison and

plundered my virgin-breath

until it came in gasps.

I wove the garland

with my own hands

that would anoint the

crown of your head

and call you mine—

possession at a

queenly pinnacle

of gossamer veils and

stolen kisses

by the poolside.

When I fell, I thought it was

to you. My sleeves

bearing me up,

I called to you in a

siren-song of broken bells,

screeching out a bridal prayer

bemired with mud,

hair streaming like ribbons

in the pool’s glassy eye.

But you didn’t come.

Flowers wept,

columbines bent to

touch my outstretched hand.

Savior-prince, where were you

when the withered violets

rippled alongside me,

when I tumbled from the

foot of the bed and

gained luminescent gills?

I sank into the lake of your

princely mind,

swam for shore in a

trail of lapis lazuli,  

and went

unquietly.

Hannah Hinsch graduated summa cum laude from Seattle Pacific University with her BA in English literature and a minor in creative writing. Hannah has published essays in Cultural Consent, poems in Lingua, and has written for Image journal’s ImageUpdate. She has been the editorial intern at Image for the past two years.

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One thought on “Ophelia

  1. Wonderful.

    On Sun, Sep 6, 2020 at 1:28 PM Whales of Arcadia wrote:

    > Whales of Arcadia: A Literary Magazine posted: ” By Hannah Hinsch > (featured image: pinterest) Bemired, your neck strangled with lobelias, I > see your pallor staring starkly back at me from every swimming hole, from > every pool, Ophelia. -“The Broken Dol” >

    Liked by 1 person

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