Haworth Honeymoon

Caolan Madden

Me at the Brontë Museum, Haworth, October 7

White bonnet suspended in glass
“The little cage                             of Currer Bell”

Emily died on this couch.
This handwriting sample.
Their father saw Charlotte’s body wracked
by marriage.
                        “bearing her position so long, &
enduring to the end”      

It broke her from the inside       
all these hand-sewn seams      the grave
closed with cunning moss       flat as text
Reader I married him

                                                  after all

Paul at Colwith Force, Ambleside, October 4

The veil hangs off
                                          a sheer
                   the honeymoon
behind a waterfall. Nobody sees
the wreckage

Wad up the veil

stuff it in your bag
behind a blasted tree

together      vastly            the lakes

glowing in the distance like a postcard.

Red Moor in Yorkshire, Seen from Rental Car, October 5

You weren’t wrecking me.
This isn’t Twilight. But neither
is Twilight.

Sticky Pudding, October 6

I spoon up custard till I’m sick. You watch.
The moor is black. We use our phones as flashlights.

Some old book about marriage, Sevenford House B&B, October 6

Charlotte puked her breakfasts up until she died
That wouldn’t happen now

            this place is so empty
We’re playing the parlor piano.

            “Woman is not only man’s equal
            but in affectional and religious nature
            seventy-five per cent.
            his superior”

Charlotte in the bed

“if I bent/if I tore/if I crushed her
whatever I do with its cage I cannot get”

circle around

the cunning force the moss the alabaster

Touch the text with your thumb
Make it jump make it jump make it

A motionless rabbit, its eyes gouged out. October 5

This isn’t Twilight but the driveway’s blocked.
Wracked-Rabbit, Rabbit-child.
Ball of bruises. I keep honking I keep
Taking pictures I keep looking away

Is it the only way you can love a thing,
out in the open. Tear that secret out,
see if you can get somebody to object,
forbid the banns, x-ray the carry-on.

Caolan Madden has an MFA in poetry from Johns Hopkins, and is currently a PhD candidate in English literature at Rutgers. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Triple Canopy, Bone Bouquet, glitterMOB, Cartridge Lit, and WEIRD SISTER, where she is a contributing editor. GIRL TALK TRIPTYCH, a collaborative chapbook she co-authored with the feminist poetry collective (G)IRL, is just out from dancing girl press.