“Before the Wedding” is the English translation of the poem & painting title.
— denotes stanza break, because this has been unclear in previous posts.
Antes de la Bodafrom the painting by Antonio Muñoz Degrain
The bones of her corset creak against her
ribs as she breathes, Necesito un momento,
Eyelids drooping, she dreams of salt
water dried on her skin, of the warm breeze
tangling her curls. Of Valencia.
She clasps her right hand, wrist
bruised and aching from her father’s
demanding grasp. Wrapped tightly in satin
and trimmed with ribbon,
she is the gift. White and soft,
she is the dove. Her bouquet,
the olive branch.