You are all on trial here!
The Queen of Hearts bellowed
from her throbbing heart throne
which glowed garnet and cried crimson
drops from its raw skin.
For what? Aanteekwa demanded.
The tarts were only a small matter,
the Queen of Hearts declared.
You are on trial for your very existence.
The raging royal first pointed at the old tree.
You live in defiance of your roots! she screamed.
Did not even Jesus hang upon a tree?
Yes, the tree replied, but he was innocent –
as all of those black boys
you throttled from my branches.
You! she shouted, shaking an
oozing bloodwurst finger at the changeling.
Every temple, cathedral, mosque, and church
was your home – yet you rejected my comforts
and left. The changeling twinkled a sapphire column
in the center of hir soul. You rage on, ze said,
because you could not keep me prisoner inside
dusty pages and mental cages.
The Queen shrieked: Off with…
his – her – ah, fuck it! Off with its head!
at which the changeling grinned and shattered
hir body, leaving a rainbow smile in mid-air.
The Queen then pointed at the Innocents:
the Masked Woman, the Greek, T,
White Sari, and the Ethiopian.
You refuse to die in silence! she yelled.
The Masked Woman chuckled. Our friends
kept us alive by demanding justice for us, she said.
The other Innocents nodded in assent,
and the Greek scrawled hastily with chalk
upon a black slate tablet: Kiss my ass!
The Queen roared.
You! she hissed at the musician.
You sacrificed fame for integrity. Why?
The musician chuckled and shook his head.
Fame is fleeting, he replied. Integrity erupts
in rock-born mountains from the soul.
I wear their wounds to be true to myself.
Insolent! the Queen shrieked. She then
glared at D.S., Babyface, and Aanteekwa.
You three are the most criminal of all,
she thundered, flaw-fashioned with
labyrinth minds that no one can understand.
You deserve death most of all.
What have you to say for yourselves?
Aanteekwa blurted out: At least we don’t
use flamingos for croquet mallets.
© 2013 Nicole Nicholson. All rights reserved.
This was written for Joseph Harker’s Renovation Twenty-Nine promptt, from which I borrowed (in a mild way) this element: “For you I stay like a mountain.” (Sarah Messer, “Prayer from a Mouse”). This is a continuation from “Gauntlet“.