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Her looks were like salt

Too little and you begged for more

Too much and it's all you could taste


The village men swooned at her

The girls of burlesque fumed with rage

Anger bubbled through their work

How could she be this pretty?


On Cristling Lane she lived too solitary for the taste of her suitors

They lined up in search of her wonders

How had she escaped their numerous lucrative traps?


The path curved up from the dirt road

Lined with the weeds that wouldn't stop growing

Her front door askew on its hinges and front step caked with last week's mud

The ugly facade to her dwelling compared nothing to her looks


A challenge of crystallized glass greeted the guest that dare step in

A maze of twisting hallways confused any visitor

Her room was the workshop, her house the labyrinth

And her looks Ariadne’s string


They followed her scent and tuned into her beauty.

A glimpse of her in the market

A whiff of her flowery perfume drew crowds of hopefuls to her presence

Her looks dazed an audience, puzzled the birds that flew through air


Late that September evening her scream echoed through the silent night

Recognized by none, it fell on deaf ears

But she was, they said, never in pain, her fair looks put the thought under lock and key

The screams echoed again off the tavern walls,

She, they said, was asleep, as one man swore to


Her skin was purple when they found her,

Swinging from the rafters of her high sloped ceiling, noose tightened around her slender neck, stool tipped on to the ground, her feet swaying in the evening light

Eyes staring forward, into the setting sun


She was the fairest they cried

No girl as beautiful as she could be in pain

They wailed and wept over her cold body


Salt water wets one's palate for more

Salt had no purpose. Only a mask that  fools the thirsty tongue.

Beauty of the body stays above the beating heart.

Screams share no beauty.  Only pain that fools the lustful eye.