Here is the girl's head like an exhumed gourd. Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth.
They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair And made an exhibition of its coil, Let the air at her leathery beauty. Pash of tallow, perishable treasure: Her broken nose is dark as a turf clod, Her eyeholes blank as pools in the old workings. Diodorus Siculus confessed His gradual ease with the likes of this: Murdered, forgotten, nameless, terrible Beheaded girl, outstaring axe And beatification, outstaring What had begun to feel like reverence.