The Pirate Anne Bonny Advises Jane Eyre

Dorsey Craft

after Charlotte Bronte

Jane, watch me close this time, the scarlet    folds of this cape, how the drapes velveta man, crush his musk to dandelions    and black his lashes to strings of silk.And I can wide your eyes to the rough    reverse, leather holsters and sun-bleached bootsthat coarse my hair to a tangle of red,    a thick of fish a man might growand almost the shadow of a beard    along my neck. Jane, it is not so intricateas your sketches. Changing your dress is easier    than striking your darkest dreams down in coal.And while we’re talking, I can teach you    the trick of your attic twin, how a cutlass paintswith skin and red ink, how to hang a scalp    as lightly as you daub the meager perfumeon your lily neck. Before you fall asleep    in that culvert, sweat of fever a-growingbeneath your bonnet, remember    that you’ve never swallowed coral or prayedto the songs of whales and young Adele    seems sharp enough to me, whatever jabshe throws her way, I’d love to see her swing    a dagger across his brow as swift as a stepin a reel. Let’s all to sea—you, the twin, the girl    and me—and build a blue-walled manor housewith chandeliers of gold and aristocratic bone.

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Dorsey Craft holds degrees from McNeese State University and Clemson University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard ReviewThe Massachusetts ReviewSouthern Indiana ReviewSugar House Review and elsewhere. She is currently a Ph.D student in poetry at Florida State and the Assistant Poetry Editor of The Southeast Review

March 2019

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