I could tell you of the woodpeckerand how his red hood first
seized Marguerite. It was flamboyance
angled to be seen, to steal breath
from the passionate or shy.
He knew a woman was standing behind,stunned by the head-tilt, the cloak-swung tail
of feathers against the tree.
Like the poet she would not approach
only read, the bird swerved
to an elegant left, drunk on the joy
of being himself, Oscar Wilde in wings.
Last summer she saw the manglitter at a party, skimming the room
in laughter. With her face half-concealed
by lace and whalebone, she gave him
the pleated utterance of a fan,
then turned away.
Months later he wrote a playabout that subject, made Lady Windemere
a porcelain wife. When attending
the performance, she never thought
of the connection between herself
and his young heroine on stage. Never understood
how she caught his attention in flight