Portrait of Alice, AnnotatedWho was it strung these footnotesfrom her toes and scribbleditalics on her wrists, indicating perhapsthat only slim-wristed girlswere allowed to enter Wonderland?They wound her with measuring tape,noted the resulting data on her skin, figuresfor chest and waist identical. To her mouthwas taped a parchment proclamationdetailing origins of those words she spokeas if they were as intimately hersas earlobes. But the evidence provedthose words had a long history of their own,belonged to themselves and wouldoutlive her. Whatever she had saidto end up in this predicamentwas not her fault, she was exempt, thus safe.What could be done to her now? Even her breastswere claimed before they'd risen; some saidhe'd placed his nitrate-ridden hands there.The critics overwrote each othertill all their words were tattooed blackupon her. Have mercy, she cried as they camewith the thousand-volumed weight of archives,but those words were not hers either.
Bolster, Stephanie. "Portrait of Alice, Annotated" The Alice Poems. Montreal: Vehicule Press, 1998.