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Untying the Knot - Dana Kinsey

Knowing white as lack of color, I dismiss myself as pale,

trailing a train of lace and disdain, dragging through streets

useless and tattered, married to no one but weary hostility.

Church aisles aren’t long enough to walk past my history,

forefathers who vowed to give me away on their terms,

in a steel-hooped crinoline cage prone to catching fire.

Veiled in my own ignorance, I draped their pearls around

my neck knowing they’d like to clap me in a shell

under oceans of ambivalence until I agreed to smile.

Regret was something old and something new, borrowed

from my great great grandfather’s hopeless chest and blue

skies were cobweb gray at my wedding to compliance.

My alliance to the groom bedded me in sadness, layers of

sponge cake and madness smeared across my face.

Guests toasted my fortune with flutes of champagne.

White silk stained in crimes of the past, I lasted

a few years past the honeymoon. Returned all the gifts,

porcelain smashed to bits, permeable, unglazed.


Dana Kinsey is a writer, actor, and teacher with poetry published by One Art, Broadkill Review, For Women Who Roar, Writers Resist, Spillwords, Fledgling Rag, and Silver Needle Press. Her prose appears in Teaching Theatre. Dana's play, WaterRise, was produced at the Gene Frankel Theatre in Greenwich Village for the Radioactive Women’s Festival. Visit


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