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the lady

her right hand
leads him
to a woman that
is not her
and when that
woman-not-her
emerges
she falls
knees cracking
against stone
eyes wide
and face wet
with tears never meant
to be shed
for a boy
from a lower class
her father gives her a look
puzzled by the show
of unnecessary emotion
and she does not
deign to look
up
her lover
takes his bride by the hand
his eyes still on
his kneeling love
who hugs herself
as if
to keep herself
in one piece
as if
she might shatter
without him
he takes his bride
and leads her
away
and she
the shattering girl
stands
she catches his eye
as he leaves
and sees

he would have
preferred
the other




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