Henry, It Has To Do with Barrenness
Elizabeth Glixman

1
Air sweeps across the highlighted clouds
erasing pigment until the shapes
are naked hiding shame.
I spiral upward
mineral streams into the sky.
Once the sky was periwinkle
The grass was algae green.
Hold the hands of the clouds
And help them rise.
They are phantom’s limbs.

The earth has limbs in any light
As the fade begins she forgets
where the heart resides.
In the chest
When the wind sweeps across
The beheading starts.

Anne Bolyn is lost in the paleness of duty
And passion,
and the light draws from round her lips,
Shines on the bloody guillotine.

Did Henry think that he was whitewashing the world,
water lost in the dry well of his religion?
Hold the heart of Anne’s hand
and let it rise.
Paint by numbers.
Start with blue and make it swirl
Around the clouds
Until the clouds can stand alone,
And Henry is left awed by the majesty
Of Anne.

2
No lover would give me child.
I would be beheaded if Henry were my husband.
The spirit of Anne Bolyn talks to me,
“Never lose your head.”

“Anne,” I ask, “what is it like to be headless?
Do you have any sense,
any thoughts?”
“I can tell you, Liz. Can I call you Liz?”
I shook my head yes.
“I think of lots of things.
Know I have been reunited with my head and thoughts in heaven.
Henry is now headless.

“Don’t let a man with a loud voice, a crown with jewels,
and a great horse
And castle
Fool you.
Don’t talk to him as if he loves you.
Watch. Be careful—
We need our heads, women, we need our heads—
Let them fondle your breast
make you roar from ecstasy
Never give them anything more.”