"The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors"

"Kept"

Margaryta Golovchenko

Margaryta Golovchenko (she/her) is a settler-immigrant, poet, critic, and academic based in Tkaronto / Toronto, Treaty 13, and Williams Treaty territory, Canada. The author of two poetry chapbooks, she is completing her MA in art history and curatorial studies at York University.

“‘The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors’ responds to Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–1923).

“‘Kept’ draws on elements of Alphonse Mucha’s commercial posters, particularly ‘Biscuits Lefèvre-Utile’ (1896) and ‘Bières de la Meuse’ (1897).”

     until she is nothing more
     than a heap of blooms
     for her own funeral, becoming
     petals if squeezed hard enough.

     What comes pouring out of her can easily
     be mistaken for sap
     by those who came
     without invitation, now watching it drip
     down their hand and gently caress
     the fingertips, mistaking self-preservation
     for a warm greeting.

     There is no excuse to the violation
     no          even          despite          although
     as somewhere right now
     there is a wedding dress coming undone

     taffeta and mesh
     and the whole nine yards
     of bandaging, bandaging, bandaging.

     Behold the solution to dull predictability
     in an array of digestible forms, faces, an evident typology
     that ends with the eye, a gloss of minimal effort.
                     Find yourself

     in the glimmering colours, smears of pastel and the occasional curve of a letter,
                     bright and eye-catching
     like a bite that takes a chunk of consciousness with each glance. This

     is our glorious present
     which constantly shifts, readjusts,
     sheds a couple feathers and peels off a layer
     when it withers out of fashion. A stable
     ecosystem of the infinitely and eternally —
                     the what is based on preference.                      Here

     there is such a thing as ideal chocolate and everything
     is measured in rivers: flowers and liquors, the proper hair length
     for a quick escape should the need be pressing,
     not that you would need nor want it.