Non Autre Volonté que la Sienne
Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII,
spent the night before her death practicing laying her head
on the executioner’s block.
Dead girlqueen, seed pearls for teeth, whirling galaxies in her eye sockets,
could not help but see the future.
Teenage tears became tiny jewels on brick,
vertebrae like the petals of a white flower,
painted headdress and veil etched on a wall,
impermanent as the garnet spray from her adorned neck
hours after she begged to see the block.
When she swore “No other will but his,” she didn’t know she meant decay,
dried pigment flaking off under the gentle touch of the wind,
plastic beads coming loose and scattering to the sidewalk.
Made this illustration as part of 24MAG’s Issue 5 transmedia chain.
A transmedia chain= One person makes a piece of art/creation/media/etc. Another person looks at what was created, and creates something based on it. I was lucky to be able to illustrate my riff on Andy Izenson’s poem, which I pasted for reference because it catches in my throat, even still.
I feel profoundly lucky to create with and alongside the people that I do.