She is afraid of her beauty.
She bloomed once,
a haunting rhapsody of illuminated colour,
a melodic symphonic crash of cymbals in
an empty room.
The notes fell on ears not present,
Warm of body but with hammer and anvil alarming in their vacuousness.
She doesn’t remember just when
the spines grew;
she sharpens them with use and time pokes her full of pin-cushion holes.
Bristling with pain,
her cactus vow will keep others
at a manageable distance…