owned

Objects once treasured, small, and rare are now outlawed.

A whalebone corset. A narwhal tusk, long and and pointed as a unicorn’s horn. An aubergine drinking glass etched and accented with garnets and deadly lead. Shadowy silver images trapped in nitrate.

I keep them when I shouldn’t. They’ve told me to bury them all. I won’t. Under a bolt of silk in my trunk are the things that are taboo and dangerous to hold. Mine. Let the nitrate explode in my face. Let the lead poison and contaminate my lips as I swallow. Let the corset bind and squeeze my heart out. The tusk I’ll raise like an ivory sword, tormenting imaginary enemies and protecting invisible children.

Still mine. To wield, or destroy, or threaten with.

[Woman wearing a corset standing in front of a mirror.]

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"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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