My part to play the princess:

twenty-four folds of my whitest dress,

field of dandelions flowering from my skin,

dozen dozing doves to trim.

Should they startle, I will be revealed.

Where is my cloudy crown,

my wreath of cotton? Garlanded body,

I am entitled to more

than downy dresses filled

with seeds. For before the birds

nested in my chest,

rainwater fell from my face.

I was not numinous,

I was entirely clear.

Now milk runs from me, for the birds

to lap with their little tongues,

for the weedy dandelions to wash in.

Every recess preened:

my part to play the princess.

Now I am entitled to make

a metaphor so white

that you could whip through it

like wind and fill the air

with feathers or flowers.